• FDA Issues Rituxan Drug Warning Tuesday, 19 Dec 2006 | 9:52 AM ET

    Two lupus patients died from a rare brain infection after taking the Genentech and Biogen drug Rituxan, U.S. health officials said in an advisory issued Monday.

  • CNBC's Huckman: FDA Warning on Rituxan Tuesday, 19 Dec 2006 | 8:37 AM ET

    The deaths of two people from a rare brain infection has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a warning on the drug Rituxan. CNBC's Mike Huckman was on "Squawk Box" with the details. Huckman said the deaths were caused by a rare brain infection (called PML) to patients with lupus--who were taking the drug to combat their disease.

  • Glaxo Signs Record $2.1bn Deal for Genmab Drug Tuesday, 19 Dec 2006 | 5:07 AM ET

    GlaxoSmithKline has bought global rights to Danish biotech company Genmab's most promising new drug, a treatment for leukemia, in a record deal worth up to $2.1 billion, the two firms said on Tuesday.

  • Pfizer Names New Chairman, Ups Dividend Monday, 18 Dec 2006 | 5:21 PM ET

    Jeffrey B. Kindler becomes the company's new chairman and  the  quarterly dividend is increased 21%.

  • Market Wrap: Weak Energy Eclipses Buyout News Monday, 18 Dec 2006 | 5:21 PM ET

    The bulls caught their breath today after a run-up last week. All major indexes ended the day in the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed slightly lower today by 4 points, even as two of its biggest components – General Electric and Citigroup – surged with both stocks hitting highs (Citigroup closed at an all-time high, GE at a 52-week high). The Nasdaq and S&P 500 also faced selling pressure, closing down 22 and 5 points, respectively.

  • Pfizer Follow-Up Monday, 18 Dec 2006 | 4:48 PM ET

    Minutes after I wrote the last blog entry came the news that Pfizer is indeed raising its dividend -- 21% or a nickel in the first quarter of next year. The news is not a huge surprise -- the move had been widely speculated upon after Pfizer shares plunged on the loss of torcetrapib a couple of weeks ago.

  • Lilly's Ups and Downs Monday, 18 Dec 2006 | 4:34 PM ET

    I jinxed myself. That closing statement in my last posting about things quieting down on the beat: fuggedaboutit. Yesterday and today, "The New York Times" ran above-the-fold, front-page stories on Lilly's marketing of Zyprexa.  It's the company's top-selling drug and its biggest profit-maker -- analysts estimate the schizophrenia/bipolar disorder drug is responsible for one-third to as much as one-half of the company's bottom line.

  • Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts has launched a hostile $26 billion bid to buy rival Caremark a move that could trump Caremark's current deal to be acquired by drugstore chain CVS.

  • Report: Eli Lilly Said to Play Down Risk Monday, 18 Dec 2006 | 2:20 PM ET

    Eli Lilly has downplayed for about 10 years the risks associated with Zyprexa, which treats schizophrenia, The New York Times said on its Web site Sunday, citing internal documents from the drug maker and e-mail messages of its managers.

  • Biosante Shares Soar on Elestrin OK Monday, 18 Dec 2006 | 12:39 PM ET

    The drug, designed to treat hot flashes associated with menopause, will be marketed in the U.S. by Bradley Pharmaceuticals .

  • Harrah's, Caremark: Merger Mania Heats Up Monday, 18 Dec 2006 | 10:03 AM ET

    The private equity surge continues. About $60 billion in mergers and acquisitions deals just in the U.S. have been announced this morning. Apollo Management alone is involved in two of the four deals. The only buyout not involving a PE firm was an aggressive bid by Express Scripts for Caremark Rx – which was already entertaining a bid from CVS. CNBC’s Melissa Lee reported the story on “Squawk on the Street.”

  • Eli Lilly: Pushing Drug Despite Warnings? Monday, 18 Dec 2006 | 9:49 AM ET

    Big pharma company Eli Lilly is coming under fire. CNBC's Pharmaceuticals Reporter Mike Huckman had the late breaking details on this morning’s “Squawk Box.”  Huckman reported that Eli Lilly said sales of its top selling drug Zyprexa would be “stable” next year (the drug is used for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder).

  • Merry Merck Monday, 18 Dec 2006 | 9:49 AM ET

    Merck won two more Vioxx cases in three days.  Last Wednesday it got a victory in another federal case and then on Friday, it picked up a win in an Alabama trial.  The drug company says it is now 9 and 4. The stock closed up 40 cents on the news.  And before Christmas there could be another Vioxx verdict. 

  • Bayer AG said Monday it is selling its Wolff Walsrode business, which specializes in cellulose products, to the Dow Chemical Co. for an undisclosed sum.

  • Merck Wins Another Vioxx Trial Friday, 15 Dec 2006 | 2:59 PM ET

    An Alabama state court jury deliberated for less than two hours before finding for the drug maker on two counts.

  • European Agency Backs Glaxo Bird-Flu Shot Friday, 15 Dec 2006 | 7:44 AM ET

    A first-generation experimental bird flu vaccine for use in humans from GlaxoSmithKline has won outline support from European regulators.

  • Merck Wins Another Vioxx Case Wednesday, 13 Dec 2006 | 4:11 PM ET

    A New Orleans jury handed Merck  a victory today in the latest federal Vioxx product liability trial, finding that the drugmaker adequately warned of the heart risks associated with the medicine.

  • FDA May Expand Antidepressant Warning Wednesday, 13 Dec 2006 | 12:12 PM ET

    Treatment with antidepressants increases the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in patients up to age 24, according to proposed changes to the drugs' labels unveiled by health officials.

  • Merck Has One, Too Tuesday, 12 Dec 2006 | 2:27 PM ET

    At the Merck annual analyst day here in company headquarters in central New Jersey, the company revealed for the first time what many on the Street had suspected: it has a so-called CETP inhibitor in the drug development pipeline.  That's the same type of drug that Pfizer pulled the plug on last week because of an increased risk of death.

  • Merck to File Three New Drug Applications in 2007 Tuesday, 12 Dec 2006 | 11:41 AM ET

    Merck said it plans to seek U.S. approvals next year for drugs to treat HIV, cholesterol and insomnia, and aims to have another four products in late-stage trials by mid-2007.