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Not So Much 'R' and Not So Much 'D'

At The New York Times Prescriptions blog, Duff Wilson says that outside business deals are keeping the pipelines of the major drug companies healthy, instead of internal research projects. According to a recent analysis from Fitch Ratings, the major drug makers are on pace to meet last year's level of 21 new drugs approved in the United States and Europe, but only thanks to acquisition and licensing deals. At the same time, 15 possible new drugs have had major problems, mostly with unfavorable results from clinical trials, Wilson says. Companies are, in fact, slashing spending on R&D, most notably Pfizer, which announced it's cutting its research budget by as much as $2.9 billion in the next two years. "In another analyst report with a broad view of the industry recently, Dr. Timothy Anderson of Bernstein Research looked at the prospects for nine major pharmaceutical companies to 2020," Wilson says. "His June 16 investor note found some companies with good long-term prospects from existing products, while others fall off the 'patent cliff' as generic competition is expected to pound their sales."

The Scan

Not Kept "Clean and Sanitary"

A Food and Drug Administration inspection uncovered problems with cross contamination at an Emergent BioSolutions facility, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Resumption Recommendation Expected

The Washington Post reports that US officials are expected to give the go-ahead to resume using Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Canada's New Budget on Science

Science writes that Canada's new budget includes funding for the life sciences, but not as much as hoped for investigator-driven research.

Nature Papers Examine Single-Cell, Multi-Omic SARS-CoV-2 Response; Flatfish Sequences; More

In Nature this week: single-cell, multi-omics analysis provides insight into COVID-19 pathogenesis, evolution of flatfish, and more.