19 GI/endoscopy company updates to know

From FDA approvals and acquisitions to competition and leadership moves, gastroenterology and endoscopy companies have had a busy start to the year. Here are 19 news updates to know.

The European Commission granted approval for AbbVie's all-pill hepatitis C treatment for use in the 28 European Union countries.

Actavis will acquire Auden Mckenzie for approximately £306 million, or $460.6 million, in cash as well as a two-year royalty on a percentage of gross profits of one of Auden Mckenzie's products. 

Lawyers from Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific presented arguments to a federal judge in a non-jury trial in New York, according to a Reuters report. Johnson & Johnson is seeking $7.2 billion in damages from Boston Scientific, which can be traced back to the bidding contest over Guidant.

Boston Scientific's fourth quarter of 2014 profits slid down 19 percent. The company reported $87 million in net income, down from $108 million from the prior year period.

David Gill, CFO of EndoChoice, was appointed to the board of directors and chairman of the audit committee of regenerative medicine company Histogenics.

Non-profit association Georgia Bio granted EndoChoice one of its Innovation Awards for the Fuse Full Spectrum Endoscopy System. 

Norton Healthcare, based in Louisville, Ky., has become the first Kentucky healthcare system to offer the non-invasive stool-based colorectal cancer screening test Cologuard from Exact Sciences.

Exact Sciences and Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minn., announced a five-year extension and expansion of their collaboration. The new agreement focuses on Exact Sciences' relationship with Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and co-inventor of Cologuard David Ahlquist, MD.

Ferring Pharmaceuticals appointed Pascal Danglas, MD, as executive vice president and CMO. The company also appointed Per Falk, MD, PhD, as executive vice president and chief scientific officer.

Gilead Sciences plans to allow generic drug makers to produce a new version of its hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi.

Prescriptions for Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C drug Harvoni had a 1.8 percent drop in week-over-week prescriptions for the week ending Jan. 16, but AbbVie's HCV treatment Viekira Pak had an increase of 55 percent, according to a Bidness ETC report.

India's patent office rejected Gilead Sciences' key patent claim for its hepatitis C drug Sovaldi. Gilead Sciences has the option to appeal the rejection.

Medigus extended its 2013 exclusive distribution agreement with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm. The agreement grants Sinopharm exclusive rights to distribute the MUSE system in China.

Physicians Endoscopy and four gastroenterologist partners officially opened the Greater Gaston Endoscopy Center in Gastonia, N.C.

Pharmaceutical company Roche received FDA approval for the cobas TaqScreen MPX Test, v2.0. The test can be used in the detection and identification of HIV, Hepatitis C virus and Hepatitis B virus in human blood.

Salix Pharmaceuticals promoted William P. Forbes, PharmD, to chief development officer and president of medical, research and development. Prior to his promotion, Dr. Forbes was CDO and executive vice president of medical, research and development.

Salix Pharmaceuticals announced that Carolyn Logan has decided to retire as president, CEO and a director of the company, effective Jan. 30.

Salix Pharmaceuticals is working with investment bank Centerview Partners Holdings to explore options, such as a potential sale, according to a Reuters report.

US Endoscopy released its Roth Net retriever – mini polyp. The Roth Net retriever – mini polyp is designed to offer improved maneuverability and visualization in the colon.

More articles on gastroenterology:
7 gastroenterologists leading GI mega-practices
56 GI devices receive FDA 510(k) clearance in 2014
Preparing for ICD-10 in gastroenterology

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