Pfizer on Monday announced that it has agreed to purchase biotech firm Seagen for $43 billion, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Maryland and New York.
- Maryland: FDA approved a nasal spray that treats migraines with a therapy different from existing nasal products for severe headache pain, Pfizer announced on Friday. The drug, called Zavzpret, is a branded formulation of the generic drug zavegepant. According to Pfizer, it is the "first and only" calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonist nasal spray available to treat migraines with or without an aura, or sensory disturbances that often accompany a migraine. In a study published in Lancet Neurology, Zavzpret started to relieve migraine symptoms in as little as 30 minutes, and provided relief for up to 48 hours after the last administered dose. A 10mg dose was more effective than a placebo at relieving pain and other migraine symptoms. Pfizer said it the drug should be available in pharmacies by July. Angela Hwang, chief commercial officer and president of Pfizer's global biopharmaceuticals business, noted that the drug provides an alternative option for individuals who experience migraines. (Jewett, New York Times, 3/10; Napolitano, CBS News, 3/11; Henderson, MedPage Today, 3/10)
- Maryland: CMS on Thursday issued updated interpretive guidance for surveyors evaluating whether a hospital's Quality Assessment & Performance Improvement (QAPI) program is in compliance with Medicare requirements. In the guidelines, CMS emphasizes the key role hospital leadership and governance play in driving quality improvement within an organization. Medicare-certified hospitals are required to have a QAPI program, and surveyors will evaluate the involvement of hospital leadership and governance in the prioritization and oversight of these programs. "CMS does not prescribe a particular QAPI program that all hospitals must use," the guidance said. "Rather, each hospital is provided with the flexibility to develop its own program based on its unique needs, priorities, clinical programs, as well as its own considerations for the health equity needs of its patient population." (AHA News, 3/10)
- New York: Pfizer on Monday announced that it has agreed to purchase biotech firm Seagen for $43 billion, marking the largest deal in the pharmaceutical industry since Abbvie acquired Allergan in 2020. According to Axios, the deal also demonstrates how Pfizer is using the profits from its COVID-19 vaccine to strengthen its other businesses. For the deal, Pfizer will pay $229 per share in cash, reflecting a 32.7% premium over where Seagen shares closed last Friday. "Pfizer's largest oncology asset, breast cancer drug Ibrance, has been on decline. Collaboration revenue around Astellas-shared prostate cancer med Xtandi has been flat. And Pfizer's commercial and pipeline portfolios lack new star products that could move the market ... Seagen is an attractive target with four commercial medicines and many more likely coming in its deep pipeline full of antibody-drug conjugate candidates," FiercePharma reported. (Primack, Axios, 3/13)