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Pharmaceuticals

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  • A New "Alli" From Glaxo Thursday, 8 Feb 2007 | 5:25 PM ET

    GlaxoSmithKline has won FDA approval to sell the formerly prescription-only diet drug Xenical over-the-counter.  The drug can help people lose, on average, about six pounds.  It'll be called "Alli" (pronounced like "ally"). GSK will split the profits with Roche, which owns prescription Xenical. ... An analyst says Alli could have peak sales of $100 million to $300 million, which would be a blockbuster by OTC-drug standards.

  • GlaxoSmithKline Posts 16% Rise in Full-Year Profit Thursday, 8 Feb 2007 | 8:08 AM ET

    GlaxoSmithKline, Europe's biggest drug maker, reported a 16% rise in annual profit Thursday, in line with expectations of analysts polled by Reuters. But the company said 2007 growth would slow as it awaits pipeline renewal.

  • Tamiflu Fever Wednesday, 7 Feb 2007 | 2:14 PM ET

    Roche reported today that it sold $2.1 billion worth of Tamiflu last year (a 68% increase). Tamiflu is the antiviral that you take shortly after you feel like you've got the flu or as a prophylactic if someone literally close to you has it. But the main driver behind the sales spike last year was government stockpiling of the drug in case of a pandemic.

  • Roche Net Profit up 34% on Cancer Drug Sales Wednesday, 7 Feb 2007 | 10:32 AM ET

    Net profit at Roche Holding rose 34% to 9.17 billion Swiss francs ($7.33 billion) in 2006 due to strong sales of cancer treatments Herceptin and Avastin, just ahead of analysts' expectations.

  • Bird flu returned to the headlines recently as 159,000 turkeys were slaughtered in a Suffolk, U.K. farm in a confirmed avian influenza (H5N1) outbreak.

  • Gardasil: On Guard Tuesday, 6 Feb 2007 | 10:54 AM ET

    The Governor of Texas announced on Friday that all girls entering the sixth grade in his state must get Merck's new vaccine, Gardasil, before they can enroll. Gardasil prevents four strains of the sexually-transmitted disease known as HPV which is the leading cause of cervical cancer. It works best when given before becoming sexually active. But the political and social backlash has already begun.

  • Bayer Plans to Invest $1.8B in Shanghai Tuesday, 6 Feb 2007 | 4:13 AM ET

    Bayer MaterialSience AG will increase its capacity at a planned facility in Shanghai, investing around $1.8 billion (1.4 billion euros) in the plant, the company said Tuesday.

  • Ethical Debates Bog Down Merck's Vaccine Monday, 5 Feb 2007 | 2:59 PM ET

    Gov. Rick Perry of Texas recently ordered that all girls entering the sixth grade in that state be vaccinated against cervical cancer. The mandate has become a source of controversy from more than one angle. Does a governor have the right to make such an order? Is the vaccine safe? Could it promote sexual promiscuity? What role does Merck – the company that developed and produces the vaccine – play in all this?

  • AstraZeneca To Ax 3,000; Blames Generics Friday, 2 Feb 2007 | 12:14 PM ET

    When Pfizer announced its deeper cost cuts last week, including a total of about 10,000 layoffs, analysts said other big drug companies that had not already started restructuring would use the industry giant as the model. Sure enough, today AstraZeneca said it will get rid of 3,000 employees (5% of its workforce) over the next few years. Also: Gilead shares at record high.

  • Judge Dismisses Wyeth Hormone Replacement Case Friday, 2 Feb 2007 | 10:33 AM ET

    Wyeth said Judge Caroline E. Baker of the Harris County District Court in Houston granted its motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case of Brockert v. Wyeth, which was to have begun trial on Monday.

  • Bristol Shares Climb On Sanofi Merger Rumor Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 | 1:50 PM ET

    If the report is true, Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb could soon merge to create the world's biggest drug company.  (Pfizer's No. 1 today.)  The story comes out of a French financial "newsletter" which attributed the information to no one -- but the market seemed to put some credence into the report. Also: stay tuned for pharma earnings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • Tamiflu "Flies High" In Bird Flu Battle Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 | 10:36 AM ET

    Some 270 people have contracted the H5N1 virus or avian flu, according to the World Health Organization, and 164 of them have died. It's the high death rate--greater than 50%--that has alarmed so many health officials. One drug that is on the market for patients is Tamiflu--made by Gildead Sciences. Sales of the drug have made a big turnaround over the last few years...

  • AstraZeneca Fourth-Quarter Profit Up Thursday, 1 Feb 2007 | 10:30 AM ET

    AstraZeneca, Europe’s fourth-largest drug maker by prescription drug sales, posted a 21% rise in fourth-quarter earnings per share, compared to the last-year quarter.

  • Bristol-Myers Shares Rise on Takeover Speculation Wednesday, 31 Jan 2007 | 9:39 AM ET

    U.S. pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers  has hired three Wall Street banks ahead of a possible offer from France's Sanofi-Aventis, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

  • Speculation that Sanofi-Aventis, the world's third-largest pharmaceutical company, may buy Bristol-Myers Squibb was grew Monday as an unsourced report from French financial newsletter "La Lettre de l'Expansio" reported that a  pre-merger agreement was signed last week.

  • Scent Of A Deal: Is There A Sanofi/Bristol Merger? Monday, 29 Jan 2007 | 12:23 PM ET
    Sanofi Aventis

    Rumors about merger talks between pharmaceutical giants Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers have picked up speed after French financial newsletter La Lettre de I Expansion reported a deal was in the works. Thomas Burnett, director of research at Wall Street Access, was on “Morning Call” to give his take on the possible friendly takeover.

  • Genentech has sent a letter alerting eye doctors to the risk of stroke from Lucentis, its drug for treating age-related macular degeneration, a spokeswoman said.

  • Amgen Shares Fall on Disappointing Drug Data Friday, 26 Jan 2007 | 3:17 PM ET

    The findings on Aranesp and colon cancer treatment Vectibix were released late on Thursday, as the world's largest biotechnology company reported a marginal increase in fourth-quarter profit.

  • Gates Campaigns For Vaccinations Friday, 26 Jan 2007 | 4:49 AM ET

    A vaccination alliance started by an investment from the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation has saved several million lives, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates told CNBC's Maria Bartiromo in an exclusive interview. Speaking on the sidelines of the WEF meeting, Gates also said the alliance is working on a vaccination for malaria. (More)

  • The $2 Difference Thursday, 25 Jan 2007 | 3:56 PM ET

    So, an overwhelming majority of Icos shareholders voted for the Lilly buyout offer. Lilly originally offered $32 per share, but under pressure from proxy advisory firms and big investors, the company raised its bid to $34 per share. And: the United Kingdom's government health care program announced today that it is not going to spring for Erbitux or Avastin from Genentech and Roche.

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