The influential American Society of Clinical Oncology, in a report released on Tuesday, cited estimates that cancer will become the leading killer in the United States by 2030 as the population ages, while treatment costs reach new heights.» Read More
Regarding my post from yesterday about Lilly CEO Sidney Taurel, a spokesman left me a voicemail this morning to say it has no intention of backing out of the interview next week. I've got a tentative commitment from Bristol-Myers Squibb to interview its new CEO Jim Cornelius for the first time at that company's analyst meeting next week.
During regular trading hours on Tuesday, Merck shares hit 60 bucks. If you bought the stock about two years ago and held it, you've doubled your money. Merck traded for 45 bucks and change the day before the company recalled Vioxx. It hadn't been above 60 since mid-2003. This has to go down as one of the greatest comeback stories in history.
If you arrive for work at CNBC headquarters early enough you can pick up a copy of "The Wall Street Journal" at the lobby desk when you walk in. Today, I grabbed mine and set it down on my desk while I logged onto my computer and cleaned out my inbox.
Late yesterday, a bullet crossed the Dow Jones newswire saying, "FDA Warns GlaxoSmithKline on Breast-Cancer Drug Promotion." Almost immediately, my producer and I got a call from the CNBC staffer who was manning what we call our "Alerts Desk" asking us if we'd seen the news and if we could provide any context.
So, does this mean I'm gonna get scooped by Reuters on Merck stories? I'm just kidding, but that was one of my reactions when I saw the press release this morning from Merck announcing that it's putting the CEO of Reuters, Tom Glocer, on its Board of Directors. The head of a financial data and news company on the Board of a major drug company. Very interesting.
Late yesterday afternoon, the Food and Drug Administration put out what it calls an "Early Communication" announcing that it's looking into possible dangerous side effects from Pfizer's hot, new smoking cessation pill, Chantix. The company sold nearly a quarter-billion dollars worth of the drug in the third quarter which put it on track to quickly achieve billion-dollar blockbuster status.
Shares of medical device maker Medtronic rose Tuesday after Wall Street shrugged off a 2 percent dip in the company's second-quarter profit on the recall of Sprint Fidelis heart wires.
It didn't take long for Japan's Takeda Pharmaceuticals, which trades on the Tokyo exchange, to try to capitalize on the new safety warning for GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug Avandia. Last week the FDA slapped a so-called "Black Box"--the agency's most severe warning--on the Avandia label advising patients and doctors about the potential heart attack and stroke risk that's been the subject of so much controversy over the past several months.
Medtronic on Monday said quarterly profit fell 2 percent from a year ago, as the recall of a component used with its implantable devices to treat abnormal heart rhythms hurt revenue.
If the writer's strike has you looking for alternatives to insomnia-fighting late-night TV shows, then Pfizer may have just what the doctor ordered. Tune into the company's web cast for investors and analysts at 11 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time on Thursday, November 29th. If you don't believe me check out the press release on the Pfizer web site. The world's biggest drug company is taking its show on the road to Hong Kong.
For a Monday before the Thanksgiving holiday, this is turning into an extremely busy day on the biotech beat. Two of the stories actually broke on Sunday: Celgene buying Pharmion for nearly $3 billion and Genentech announcing a breakthrough in brain cancer. Then, before the opening bell this morning Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Bayer won the expected Food and Drug Administration approval of their drug Nexavar for liver cancer.
Last night, Bristol-Myers Squibb and ImClone Systems announced that a study being published in the prestigious "New England Journal of Medicine" shows their cancer drug Erbitux extended the lives of some metastatic colon cancer patients. The median survival of the people on Erbitux was just over six months versus about four-and-a-half months for those who got conventional drug treatment.
The surprising Vioxx settlement brought me back to the office today in the middle of my vacation--I could've literally phoned it in as I did on "Squawk Box" this morning, but as long as I was in town, I'm too hard core to stay at home working around the house when a big story like this one breaks on my beat.
As I begin my vacation, I wanted to tell you about a story I did that's airing while I'm away on the new edition of CNBC's "Business Nation" this Wednesday (November 7th) at 9 p and midnight ET. It's about the increasingly strained relationship between drug sales reps and doctors.
I'm taking some much needed time off for a couple of weeks. Actually, our scheduling guru at CNBC, Alex Crippen, told me if I don't use all of the days I've accumulated by the end of next month, I'll lose them. I consider myself a hard worker, but I'm not that generous. So, off I go.
There's a flurry of selling going on this morning in shares of the biopharma Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Overnight the embargo lifted on the long awaited results of the company's mid-stage test on a new type of Hepatitis C drug. Two studies show that six months out 60% and 65% of patients had no detectable virus in their blood.
This morning we got more evidence about the havoc generic Zocor is wreaking on all of the companies that make brand-name statins--the pills to fight cholesterol. AstraZeneca is the latest casualty. On a down day in the markets AZN is one of the biggest losers in the sector.
Yet another chapter in the unfolding saga of Genentech's Avastin being used instead of Lucentis to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The other day I blogged about the new "Open Letter" on the company's homepage announcing that it's delaying the implementation of its attempted crackdown on the cheaper, similar cancer drug being used...
Today's the day Eli Lilly was expected to get a Food and Drug Administration decision on the first-ever one-a-day impotence drug. Right now, the company sells Cialis for use as needed. But men could pop this one every day--like an aspirin or multi-vitamin--so the drug would always be "on boa
This morning Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly and Alkermes announced the highly anticipated test results on their once-a-week, Type 2 diabetes drug. One analyst recently called this the most important biotech data of the second half of this year. Many expect the drug to become a multi-billion dollar blockbuster.