*Actavis launches $21 billion bond deal. *Exxon Mobil to sell $7 billion in debt. Pharmaceutical company Actavis Plc launched a $21 billion corporate bond deal, the second-largest on record, according to Thomson Reuters unit IFR.» Read More
For some time now I've been occasionally blogging about the data on a once-a-week version of Byetta that are expected in the fourth quarter sometime. This is a long-acting release (LAR, for short) version of the current twice-a-day injectable drug for diabetes from Lilly and Amylinspacer. Alkermes makes the technology that extends the drug's release.
Call it a stellar, mythic merger. This morning Isis Pharmaceuticals (named after the goddess in Egyptian mythology) and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (named after the center star in Orion's belt) announced they're forming a joint venture called Regulus Therapeutics, LLC (named after the brightest star in the constellation Leo). I'm sensing a theme here.
An update from the NewsMakers in Biotech conference in NYC on an item of intense interest. Amylin Pharmaceuticals just held a well-attended PowerPoint presentation followed by a very cramped breakout session. And pretty much the only thing investors and analysts wanted to talk about is Byetta LAR (long-acting release).
Blogging from the 14th NewsMakers in the Biotech Industry conference put on by BioCentury and Thomson Financial in Manhattan. It's a rare opportunity to spend a day getting possible story ideas and networking with sources.
Drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Thursday it had seen strong demand for $6.9 billion of bonds it issued to repay a significant part of the U.S. commercial paper taken on for the acquisition of biotechnology company Medimmune.
The gloves are off. Overnight, Pfizer came out with a new study on the world's top-selling drug, Lipitor, for cholesterol. The company says if you switch from its drug to generic Zocor you've got a 30% greater chance of dying from a heart attack, stroke or some other "major cardiovascular" event.
As I was gearing up to come back to work from my extended holiday weekend I searched some of my mainstay internet sources for information and tips yesterday including cafepharma.com. It's filled with pharmaceutical and biotech company message boards with postings mostly from sales reps complaining, providing job applicants with salary and benefits details, occasionally revealing the latest internal memo, and frankly, spreading rumors and gossip.
I'll be out of the office for an extra-long holiday weekend, so I'm emptying out the blog inbox before I go. Nick Stavriotis sent an email to clarify his previous incomplete statement regarding the FDA's "overrule" of the Dendreon Provenge advisory committee recommendation: "...my words should have said 'refusal to follow an overwhelming...
Xoma Ltd., the subject of a prominent, front page New York Times Sunday Business section article earlier this year headlined, "It's Alive! One of Biotech's Zombies", is leaving the Zombies behind. The shares of the small cap are up more than 20% on heavy volume. The Times piece described how the 26-year-old company had yet to turn a profit (the overwhelming majority of biotechs don't make money),
We've known that Merck has been testing its cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil on young men (16-23 years old). The company says major data on those clinical trials are expected next year and could help Merck win FDA approval of the shots for males as well as females. The first-of-its-kind product has already sparked a sociopolitical controversy with its recommended use for young women. Imagine the brouhaha if or when Merck starts selling it for young men.
Shares of Neurochem today are trading at a new low after the Canadian biotech announced its developmental drug for Alzheimer's didn't work well enough. It is the latest evidence that cracking the code of this complex disease is extremely challenging. We recently did a story on the drug called Alzhemed, the potential AD-drug market and other companies working on treatments/cures at a dementia conference in Washington, DC.
Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals said they were stopping a late clinical liver cancer trial with Nexavar in the Asia-Pacific region so patients can get the drug sooner after encouraging results.
I received a lot of comment on this week's post about the editorial in USA Today about the Food and Drug Administration improving patient access to potentially lifesaving or life-extending experimental drugs and the counterpoint op-ed by FDA commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach. Lori Gluth writes: "Von E’s commentary appeared to me to be a lame CYA."
In case you hadn't heard September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. It's the #2 cancer killer of American men behind lung cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 220,000 men will be diagnosed with the disease this year. And as the emails coming into our inboxes indicate, it's going to be a busy month for those who are trying to get more money, research and drugs to help fight it.
Late last year, in his first and last interview with CNBC following the blowup of the cholesterol drug torcetrapib, I asked new Pfizer CEO, Jeff Kindler, how he could go from "selling chicken" at Boston Market (he used to run the chain for McDonald's) to "selling drugs". Based on the subsequent vibe I got, it was clear that some of the Pfizer media relations people at the time didn't like the question.
Pfizer on Wednesday said it named Frank A. D'Amelio, a senior executive of Alcatel-Lucent, as chief financial officer of the drugmaker.
In an editorial today, USA Today calls on the Food and Drug Administration to let dying patients get quicker, easier access to promising, potentially lifesaving or life-extending, developmental drugs. The paper argues that thousands of people in "dire circumstances" deserve "the chance to take a last-ditch gamble".
Novo Nordisk, the world's biggest diabetes drug company, is very lightly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, but check out the move in the stock today. Coincidentally, on the day that The New York Times runs a front-page story (with two jump pages) on how controlling diabetes is about lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, the Danish drugmaker is out with major data on its glucose fighting drug Liraglutide.
This has been a lousy summer for investors in Pfizer. The stock traded at nearly 28 bucks in June and today it's fighting its way back up over the $24 mark. Goldman Sachs big pharma analyst James Kelly in a research note to clients is reiterating his buy rating on the shares, but is lowering his 12-month price target from $30 to $29.
On Amgen's conference call the other day regarding the biotech company's cutbacks, officials repeatedly stated that they think the federal government's new, restrictive guidelines for use and payment of Amgen's bread-and-butter anemia drugs will hurt patients and specifically, result in the need for more risky, old-fashioned blood transfusions to treat the condition.