Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Bayer's New Grants4Apps DealMaker for Mature Companies

Bayer's New Grants4Apps DealMaker for Mature Companies | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Calling all mature teams, startups and companies that have a solution ready to go! Our new Dealmaker is all about quality face time between you and our experts for one full day.


  • Close a potential project deal with Bayer
  • Attend the One-day matchmaking event
  • Pitch your startup and discuss possible projects


If there is a match, we will invite you to Berlin to pitch your solution, discuss collaboration options and close a deal. Travel expenses are on us! Find out, if there is a mutual interest to start a bigger journey together!


We have put together specific challenges in which we are especially interested in solving with you! Applicants are asked to address one or multiple of these challenges below. However, we are also open for other solutions that help healthcare providers or patients, as well as products dedicated to preventing or diagnosing diseases or improving pharmaceutical processes.




  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data Analysis
  • IT
  • Clinical Trials
  • Nephrology
  • Women’s Health
  • Pulmonology
  • Ophthalmology


By the way – in case you are not aware – we are also running an Accelerator program. If this is also of interest for you, you have the option to apply.



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Don't Worry Bayer, I'm Not Blogging This - Sexist, Award-Winning Ad. LOL!

Don't Worry Bayer, I'm Not Blogging This - Sexist, Award-Winning Ad. LOL! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

In a remarkable turn of events, Bayer has now distanced itself from a controversial Brazilian aspirin ad made by AlmapBBDO that won a bronze Lion in Cannes—and which caused a stir when it was accused of being sexist.


The client now says the agency had run the ad solely to win awards. In addition, Bayer says it will not allow the campaign to ever be used again.


In a statement to Adweek, Bayer acknowledged approving the ad, but said it ran only in "limited placement" in Brazil and that the company hasn't done any aspirin advertising in the country for "several years."


Bayer also said the agency, not the client, paid to run the ad. AlmapBBDO confirmed to Adweek. Thus, it appears the entry was targeted at Cannes judges and not consumers, which many in the industry might consider to be an example of "scam ads" that are crafted solely for the awards circuit.


"The concept was presented to our local marketing team in Brazil by BBDO as one of several campaigns that the agency intended to submit for this year's Cannes Lions festival," the Bayer statement said. "In order to meet the requirements for submission to Cannes, BBDO paid for limited placement in Brazil. Bayer has not advertised Aspirin through any channel in Brazil for several years. We have asked that BBDO discontinue any further use, dissemination or promotion of this campaign."


The controversy is troubling on many levels for industry leaders and clients alike.


Running ads in limited placement solely to make them eligible for awards is a well-known tactic that, in the modern advertising world at least, is generally seen as unethical and self-serving.


"Agencies should treat the awards show with integrity," Y&R global CEO David Sable told Adweek today when asked about the issue. "The truth of the matter is that every (agency) network has suffered at one time or another from this. There was a period of time when there were a lot of scam ads across all the networks. They didn't view them as scam ads, because their view was that creativity was still creativity, a great idea is a great idea."


The president of this year's Outdoor jury is Ricardo John, chief creative officer at J. Walter Thompson Brazil. Adweek reached out to John and asked why the Outdoor judges awarded this ad a Lion, and whether they thought it was provocative.


"We were very careful to remove any ad or campaign that was interpreted as sexist," John told Adweek in a statement. "The jury, which [included] seven women, did not feel that this campaign, when looked at as a whole, was offensive. Even so, as the jury president, I would like to apologize for those who took it as such."

Pharma Guys insight:

I always said the Lions Health awards were BS. But not even I caught the sexism nor did I realize how such awards are manipulated by "creative" agencies for their own benefit! So much for advancing the cause of the drug industry through advertising!

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"Flip" the Shkreli Narrative Says New Bayer US Leader Dable

"Flip" the Shkreli Narrative Says New Bayer US Leader Dable | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

“The guy who shall remain nameless does not recognize the added value of research and innovation, and is not representative of Big Pharma as a whole,” said Habib Dable, Bayer’s new president of U.S. pharmaceuticals, over breakfast recently.

Almost everyone can agree that pharma deserves to make money from meaningful innovation. Exactly how much is what is currently up for debate. Gilead Sciences of Foster City, for example, charges $1,000 per pill for a drug that can cure hepatitis C, a price that has drawn outrage from lawmakers and consumers.

Drug executives like Dable of Bayer often say that the industry needs to do a better job explaining the economics to the broader public. In other words, now that Shkreli has everyone’s attention, it’s time for drug companies to tell a new story.

But it's not enough to just tell a "different story." See my insight below.

Also, does Dable have the 5 or 6 essential traits of a great pharma leader? I note that he, like Ian Read, CEO of Pfizer, is not a "natural-born" U.S. citizen, not that that's a bad thing, except if your company moves to Ireland to avoid U.S. taxes!

Pharma Guys insight:

My #1 2016 New Year's Resolution for pharma: "Put more real-world distance between you and the likes of Martin Shkreli" ( Let's move on. It's time for the pharma industry to get its 15 minutes of fame by doing something substantial to distance itself from the likes of Shrkreli. It's not enough to endlessly tout "added value of research and innovation" as a defense. Actions are needed such as ending exploiting loopholes in the orphan drug act. Read, for example, "Otsuka [a PhRMA member company] to FDA: No Thanks... Orphan Status for Abilify is More Profitable. Generics Can Pound Sand!"; 

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Bayer Launches Breathless Moments Contest For First Annual CTEPH Awareness Day

Bayer Launches Breathless Moments Contest For First Annual CTEPH Awareness Day | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

For many people with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH, pronounced "SEE-teff"), a form of pulmonary hypertension (PH) caused by blood clots in the lungs (a pulmonary embolism)1, simple tasks can make breathing extremely difficult. In order to raise awareness about this rare condition and support the patient community, Bayer HealthCare today launched a three-month Breathless Moments photo contest to educate the public about CTEPH while showcasing inspirational events, sights or moments in time that can take a person's breath away. Today also marks the first annual CTEPH Awareness Day, introduced by Bayer and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA).

"The Breathless Moments contest will encourage people to reconsider and appreciate the positive moments in life that leave them breathless, while learning more about CTEPH," said Dario Mirski, MD, Vice President and Head, U.S. Medical Affairs, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals. "CTEPH is a rare and life-threatening condition that can go undiagnosed for years. We hope that, thanks to this campaign, those experiencing symptoms will start conversations with their doctors early on."

Pharma Guys insight:

"All photos submitted become the property of Bayer Corporation." But NOT the photo above, which  I found on - the website of Ohio Wedding Photographer Don Beach. That's the first Google search result on "breathless moments." Nice SEO, Don! Maybe Bayer will buy your URL. Contact them!

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Bayer's "Colon Lady" makes bogus claims says DOJ

Bayer's "Colon Lady" makes bogus claims says DOJ | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

The federal government says Bayer is making unsupported claims in advertisements for its dietary supplement designed to help with digestion, in violation of a federal court order. The government's motion highlights the company's multimillion dollar print and television campaign featuring "the Colon Lady," a spokeswoman who asks people about their colon health. "The Department of Justice will not tolerate companies that seek to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors by promoting to consumers unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of their products," said Stuart Delery, an assistant attorney general.

Pharma Guys insight:

From Pharmalot Blog (here):

The feds maintain that, given the way Bayer promotes Phillips’ Colon Health, the drug maker should have conducted randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. They also that none of nearly 100 documents that Bayer provided to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission have been able to validate its claims. The FTC began a non-public investigation in 2011, according to the court documents.

Moreover, ‘Bayer repeatedly advertises Phillips’ Colon Health along with Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia, a laxative, and Phillips’ Stool Softener, both of which are familiar over-the-counter drugs. Bayer makes sure to point out to consumers that Phillips’ Colon Health is ‘on the shelf near your other trusted Phillips’ products,’ ” according to the brief filed by the feds.

“The obvious implication of such advertisements is that a consumer should think of Phillips’ Colon Health as being in the same category as two of Bayer’s gastrointestinal over-the-counter drugs, which, as drugs, are indicated to prevent, cure, or treat disease. Bayer advertised Phillips’ Colon Health in this manner even though it was well aware that the majority of Americans do not know how probiotics work or think that probiotics work the same as laxatives or antacids.”

For its part, Bayer believes the feds are full of gas. A spokeswoman sent us a statement saying the drug maker is “extremely disappointed and strongly disagrees” with the FTC decision to seek the contempt order and argues that the product “benefits are fully substantiated and supported. We will defend ourselves vigorously.”

Bayer also maintains that probiotic bacteria, including the three species used in its product, have a “long and well-documented safety record, complemented by volumes of human clinical studies on their digestive benefits. It is this research upon which Bayer has legitimately based all of our claims, which include the fact that the product will ‘promote overall digestive health’ and ‘help defend against occasional constipation, diarrhea, and gas and bloating.’”

Bayer goes on to dispute the notion that Phillips’ Colon Health should be used to mitigate, prevent or treat any disease; that clinical trials are needed to substantiate any claims since these are “generally required for drugs” and are not for dietary supplement; and that the 2007 consent decree was even violated. Why? Again, Bayer believes it has the evidence to back up its promotional claims.

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Bayer/Janssen’s Xarelto COMPASS Trial Stopped Early - "Superior" to Aspirin But Without the Safety Profile

Bayer/Janssen’s Xarelto COMPASS Trial Stopped Early - "Superior" to Aspirin But Without the Safety Profile | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Bayer/Janssen's bloodthinner Xarelto has shown clear efficacy in preventing major cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients with coronary or peripheral artery disease taking part in the COMPASS trial, prompting an early halt to the late-stage study.


The 27,000-plus patient trial was scheduled to finish next year but has been stopped early on the advice of an independent Data Monitoring Committee, after the primary endpoint of prevention of MACE - including cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction and stroke - reached its pre-specified criteria for superiority versus aspirin.


Given the magnitude of the drug's effect, Janssen, Bayer and the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), which collaborated on the study, said they will offer Xarelto (rivaroxaban) to study participants in an open-label extension trial.


"Despite established and effective treatments, incidences of CAD and PAD are rising globally," said Paul Burton, vice president, Medical Affairs, Janssen. "We are excited about the possibility of making rivaroxaban available to patients with CAD and PAD to reduce their risk of major adverse cardiac events, and look forward to discussing the COMPASS trial data with the US Food and Drug Administration as quickly as possible."

Pharma Guys insight:

This article, which appears to be lifted directly from a press release, does not mention any of Xarelto's side effects. Johnson and Johnson and Bayer Corp. are being sued based on allegations that they deliberately concealed the blood thinner Xarelto potential fatal side effect of internal bleeding:  Meanwhile, AMA chastised lawyers for revealing Xarelto's side effects in TV Ads: 

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Mom to Bayer: "Would You Implant This in Your Mother...?"

Mom to Bayer: "Would You Implant This in Your Mother...?" | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

The following is a letter from E-Sister Brianne Savino:


Dear Bayer,

I find myself writing this with no expectation that this will be read by anyone at your company that holds any merit. However, I hold onto a small vestige of hope that this will not only be read but also understood. You are a very large and successful corporation. Your company has offered many products that have helped countless lives and there is something to be said for that.

Nonetheless, you have made a mistake. As children we are taught that mistakes are allowed as long as we learn from them and correct ourselves. You bought and distributed a product known as Essure. You successfully promoted it and it is now widely known and used. For some this product has been wonderful and others it has become a living nightmare from which we cannot wake. Many of us are suffering and what I want to know is ‘do you care?’ I understand that a large corporation must pay heavy attention to their bottom line but I urge you to look below that. We are not numbers and statistics. We are human beings.

With all the negative reports that you have flooding in I would like to ask each one of you that continue to market and promote this product, ‘Would you implant this is your mother, sister, wife, or even your daughter?’ That’s what we are, we are not complaints or negative press. We are mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. Every one of us owns one or more of those titles. How do we get through to you? If not by a moral compass than what?

Many of us, myself included, have no means to get help with this. I am a single mother to 5 children whom I support and take very good care of. I find myself in quite the predicament with healthcare. I make too much to get any help from a state agency and yet I make too little to get any help from the marketplace. You have spent millions in incentives to have doctors push your product and yet you are doing nothing to help the people that your product has hurt. Will you not do as we are taught as children?

Apologize and make things right. I suggest that you do some reading on the very large mistakes that GM has made, not only morally but financially as well. They were in a scenario much like yours. They had the information and the resources to correct the poor decisions that were made but they chose not to. Financially this has hurt them more in the long run than it would have if they had corrected it in the beginning and has sufficiently warped their reputation. Precious lives were lost because they were afraid of the financial aspect. Will that example open your eyes?

I beg you to see me, the real me. Not the case number or complaint number that I have been issued. Me, the person, the daughter, the mother that you have hurt. I may be just one measly person in the world to you but to my five children, I am the world. You are at a crossroads right now.

You can become the company that cares for profit margins only or you can become the company that cared enough to make things right. Very little comes before the almighty dollar these days, I am very well aware of that fact.

That being said, I know who I am and who my mother raised me to be. I would never put a price on a human beings life. To those that love us, we are priceless. I will ask one thing of the Bayer CEO, all the executives and employees that continue the fight to keep Essure as a safe, effective and permanent birth control before I close this letter.

When you lay your head on your pillow tonight, close your eyes, keep in mind all the hard evidence and facts of injury that have come before you with this product, now think of your mother wherever she may be.

Lastly, ask yourself one question…’Would she be proud of you and the decisions that you’ve made?’

Pharma Guys insight:

Re: Essure It's a Flint, Michigan moment: Drink your own Kool-Aid and prove it's safe!

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Bayer Will Use Gene-Editing & Protein Engineering Technology to Develop New Drugs

Bayer Will Use Gene-Editing & Protein Engineering Technology to Develop New Drugs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

German pharmaceutical group Bayer AG will establish a joint venture with gene-editing startup Crispr Therapeutics AG and invest at least $300 million in the partnership in five years, in an effort to develop new medicines based on the emerging technology, the companies said.

The venture with closely held Crispr Therapeutics aims to find new drugs for conditions including hemophilia, heart disease in infants and a form of blindness called Stargardt, the companies said. They will pursue treatments by linking Crispr’s gene-editing technology, known as Crispr-Cas9, with Bayer’s expertise in engineering proteins.

Bayer will also take a $35 million minority equity stake in Crispr Therapeutics, according to the companies, which plan to announce their collaboration on Monday.

Bayer’s move exemplifies a new effort by major drug companies to partner with biotechnology startups at the forefront of the fast-evolving field. Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis AG has linked up with a rival of Crispr Therapeutics that specializes in the same gene-editing technology.

Axel Bouchon, the head of Bayer’s Life Science Center, said that one year ago Bayer officials asked themselves, “If we want to do the ultimate drug, what would be the technologies we would actually like to go for? And the top of the list was Crispr-Cas9 technology.” The Life Science Center is a new Bayer unit responsible for developing innovative partnerships for research and development.

The technology, though still early stage, has been drawing interest in the pharmaceutical industry because of its potential to underpin a new kind of treatment. New drugs based on the technology could home in on a gene that causes a disease, snip the gene out and possibly replace it with a healthy segment of DNA.

The new joint venture, Bayer’s Dr. Bouchon said, aims to create a drug that can target specific defective cells inside a body, without having to remove them. Dr. Bouchon said that Bayer believes its expertise engineering proteins may prove helpful solving the issue, when combined with Crispr Therapeutics’ expertise in gene editing.

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Attention Garage-Based Chemists: Bayer HealthCare Grants4Leads® To Fund Novel Drug Leads

Attention Garage-Based Chemists: Bayer HealthCare Grants4Leads® To Fund Novel Drug Leads | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Grants for Innovative Drug Development, Bayer HealthCare offers financial support to assess and to promote the exploration of your small-molecule lead.

With our Grants4Leads® initiative we are looking for novel small-moleculeleads that relate particularly to the fields of oncology, cardiology, hematology and gynecological therapies. 

Successful applications would be initially allocated a €5,000 grant, while we assess the lead’s bioactivity. If confirmed, we might initiate a joint lead-exploration project with you, in which case you would receive further substantial financial support from Bayer HealthCare. Such a collaboration would then be subject to the negotiation of a contract reflecting the interests of all parties involved.

The decision as to whether we offer a grant and/ or enter into a collaboration will be made at the sole discretion of Bayer HealthCare. Please note, that information you submit is non-confidential.

Pharma Guys insight:

Recall that Bayer Healthcare also has a Grants4Apps program which offers grants for the development of "innovative app projects contributing to improve health outcomes or pharmaceutical processes." For more on that, see "Bayer Pharma Meets Pharmaguy Meets Healthcare App Startups."

Listen to this podcast about Lilly's Open Innovation program for drug research: TransCelerating and Crowdsourcing Pharma R&D

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