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  • Chantix Article Author Interview Touches Nerve Thursday, 14 Feb 2008 | 11:43 AM ET

    This morning we did back-to-back interviews on "Squawk Box" with the author of the New York Magazine article about his experience on the smoking cessation drug Chantix and a PfizerĀ  exec to respond to it. You can watch the segment in the video clip.

  • Dendreon/Provenge Saga: There Is News After All Thursday, 14 Feb 2008 | 11:32 AM ET

    Not long after I submitted my last post I got word that the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter today to the four Congressmen who had requested a hearing into the Dendreon/Provenge saga. And the answer is "no." The stock, which had been rallying on heavy volume today, sank when we broke the news on "Closing Bell."

  • There was a mini-rally and spike in volume in shares of good ol' Dendreon this morning and early afternoon. The run-up occured ahead of CEO Dr. Mitchell Gold's presentation at the BIO CEO conference in New York City at 1:15 ET.

  • Genentech's Avastin Study: Will It Help Get FDA Approval? Wednesday, 13 Feb 2008 | 10:29 AM ET

    After the closing bell yesterday Genentech popped out a stock-moving press release. The world's most highly-valued biotech announced that its drug Avastin when used in combo with Sanofi-Aventis' chemo drug, Taxotere, helped women with a certain type of aggressive, advanced breast cancer live longer without the disease getting worse.

  • The current issue (February 18, 2008) of New York Magazine has a story that it teases on the cover above the masthead, "No Smoking Wonder Drug." Below it in drug-label fine print the sub-head is: "Makes quitter talk to potted plants."

  • Schering-Plough is bringing up the rear of big pharma earnings season this morning--it reported later than normal because it apparently took longer to do all the accounting for a big acquisition--with a beat on the top and bottom line. But investors, as is usually the case, are more concerned about guidance.

  • Allergan "Suffering" From Adverse Botox Events Friday, 8 Feb 2008 | 4:46 PM ET

    Shares of Allergan are taking a big hit today after the Food and Drug Administration announced it's putting out an "Early Communication" (Translation: We're reviewing some reports of adverse events, but in the meantime, doctors and patients should be vigilant) regarding potentially fatal side effects of the popular muscle relaxant Botox.

  • Glaxo's Avandia Hits The Bottom Line--Hard Thursday, 7 Feb 2008 | 12:43 PM ET

    Shares of GlaxoSmithKline this morning are getting hammered because the company announced it expects earnings per share to fall by a mid-single digit percentage this year. Analysts thought they'd grow by three percent.

  • Diabetes Drug Safety: Has Another Red Flag Been Raised? Wednesday, 6 Feb 2008 | 3:07 PM ET

    Reaction to part of a big government-sponsored diabetes drug study being halted over fatalities is pouring in from several corners. The American Diabetes Association put out a press release saying it "strongly encourages people with diabetes not to alter their course of treatment without first consulting with their health care team...

  • Biogen Idec Draws "Line In The Sand" With Carl Icahn Wednesday, 6 Feb 2008 | 11:28 AM ET

    I'm blogging a little later than usual because I got sidetracked by the breaking news on the government stopping part of a big diabetes drug study over safety concerns--more people died in a group that was being intensively treated to get their blood sugar levels below current recommendations.

  • Drug Stocks: Real Downers And At A Two-Year Low Tuesday, 5 Feb 2008 | 4:29 PM ET

    Yes, it was a big down day for equities, but I wanted to call attention to the fact that according to one of our resident stock gurus, Robert Hum, the Amex Pharmaceutical Index (you can see the 15 stocks that make up the so-called DRG here) closed at a two-year low today.

  • Boston Scientific And The "Struggling" Stents Tuesday, 5 Feb 2008 | 10:25 AM ET

    Sales of drug-coated stents, Boston Scientific's most profitable products, came in at the low end of the company's guidance in the fourth quarter. Stents are the fragile little wire mesh cylinders that act like scaffolding to prop open clogged arteries.

  • FDA At Level "Orange" Safety Warning? Monday, 4 Feb 2008 | 2:14 PM ET

    The Food and Drug Administration continues to get a lot of attention and scrutiny. In an editorial over the weekend "The New York Times" wrote, "The F.D.A. desperately needs an infusion of money and talent." Then, "USA Today" today is running a front-page article on something I recently blogged about and other reporters tackled a few weeks ago regarding the agency approving so few drugs last year.

  • Pfizer's Chantix Suffers Yet Another Blow From FDA Friday, 1 Feb 2008 | 4:53 PM ET

    Pfizer tried to get out in front of the psychiatric side-effect issues on its stop-smoking drug by adding information about behavioral changes, mood swings, thoughts of suicide, etc. to the label last month.

  • Glaxo, Merck, SGP & Amgen: Readers Have a Lot to Say Friday, 1 Feb 2008 | 10:51 AM ET

    It's a new month. Time to clean out the inbox. Regarding my post earlier this week about Sen. Chuck Grassley's office breaking the "Nature" embargo on the leak of the GlaxoSmithKline Avandia study, I heard from the "Nature" article reporter.

  • Bristol-Myers' Disappearing Penny: Case Is Now Closed Thursday, 31 Jan 2008 | 2:42 PM ET

    I just got off the phone with the Chief Operating Officer of PR Newswire, Dave Armon, who says the discrepancy between the two Bristol-Myers Squibb earnings press releases I've been blogging about was due to an information technology glitch at PR Newswire.

  • This morning on "Squawk on the Street" I did a pharma earnings round-up report and I topped it by saying the sector could remain under pressure today because two major American drug companies--Bristol-Myers Squibb and Wyeth-- missed earnings expectations and lowered their 2008 guidance.

  • Glaxo's Avandia Leak: Who Really Broke Embargo? Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 | 4:59 PM ET
    GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia

    At 1 pm ET today the embargo was supposed to lift on an article in the scientific journal "Nature" that we got advanced word on early this morning. We were set to post the write-through about it at that time on our web site.

  • Merck: Why's Stock So Low? (And What Am I Missing?) Wednesday, 30 Jan 2008 | 12:10 PM ET

    Dow component Merck beat the Street with fourth quarter results on earnings per share (revenue was a sliver below the analyst consensus) and reaffirmed its earnings guidance for this year. Maybe the beaten-down stock is falling victim to another pre-Fed interest rate decision market downdraft...

  • "Dendreonians" were hoping the Provenge controversy might come up for discussion at the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing today.