LONDON, Sept 19- The Ebola virus raging through West Africa is mutating rapidly as it tears a deadly path through cities, towns and villages, but the genetic changes are for now not giving it the ability to spread more easily.» Read More
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.
Direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising is everywhere in American media because it works. Generally speaking, it drives patients to ask/tell their doctors to prescribe a particular medication.
In what I would describe as a pretty extraordinary filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Schering-Plough is putting in black and white the date and time that senior level executives were informed about the results of the controversial ENHANCE study of the cholesterol drug Vytorin.
Friday I blogged about the most audacious press release I've received in a long time from a small biomed company called GenoMed. The company's Chairman and CEO, Dr. David Moskowitz, claims Heath Ledger probably died due to complications from the flu--likening it to Anna Nicole Smith's death--and GenoMed had the means to save him.
A $4 billion company I've never covered before, Inverness Medical Innovations, is making news this morning with a $900 million acquisition of another company I've never covered--Matria Healthcare, Inc. But that's not why I'm blogging about Inverness.
I listened in to the hour-long Food and Drug Administration conference call with reporters regarding Vytorin, and I wanted to pass along a few highlights...
In the wake of my semantic disagreement with Amgen over whether it beat, met or missed its earnings pre-announcement earlier this month, analysts are putting out research notes to clients on the company's results, guidance and new drug data and blog readers are sending emails about my take on the full year 2007 number.
I just got back to my desk after doing a breaking news alert on Amgen's earnings. To sum up, I characterized the report as a mixed bag. The anemia drug sales weren't as bad as expected. Overall revenue was higher than consensus. And fourth quarter earnings per share was three cents higher than the Street.
ImpactRx--which follows prescription writing for the industry, investors and analysts--is out with a press release this afternoon assessing the damage to Merck and Schering-Plough's cholesterol franchise of Vytorin and Zetia.
After yesterday's beat and boost by drug giant Pfizer and a late-day rally in the stock, analysts are providing clients their take on the numbers as the shares traded lower in the early going. Deutsche Bank's Barbara Ryan is keeping her long-standing "Buy" rating on PFE, even though she told me recently she's been "long and wrong" on the stock.
As I write this at the start of the second hour of regular trading, Pfizer is hangin' on to a small gain. It's the only big pharma stock trading higher this morning and for a moment after the opening bell it was the only Dow component in the green. (Merck and Schering-Plough, still reeling from the Vytorin/Zetia study, are getting pummeled again in the early going--each down more than a buck.)
This press release and letters to the CEOs of MRK and SGP from the House Energy and Commerce Committee just arrived in my inbox:
I'm blogging today from outside the New York Stock Exchange where I'm trying to round up "man-on-the-(Wall) street" reaction to the markets. In the meantime, back on the beat, for the second day Merck and Schering-Plough have taken out two-page ads in major newspapers defending their cholesterol drugs Zetia and Vytorin whose efficacy is under attack.
I blogged recently that a spokesperson for the House Energy and Commerce Committee had told me a decision could be made by the end of this week regarding the Dendreon saga.
After watching his stock lose more than one-fifth of its value this week, Schering-Plough CEO Fred Hassan apparently decided the shares are on sale. This morning the company issued a press release announcing Hassan (pronounced Haa-sun, not the commonly mispronounced Huh-sahn) will shell out $2 million of his own money to buy SGP shares on the open market.
This doesn't come as any big surprise, but Pfizer announced this morning that it is putting a warning--and that's the company's word--on the label of its stop-smoking pill Chantix. It says people taking the drug should be watched for "serious neuropsychiatric symptoms, including changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior."
If or when you watch one of the presidential debates count how many times the candidates say, "the drug companies." Of course, it depends on which party's debate you might be watching, but since I started paying attention to the race in recent weeks, I've taken notice how much those three words seem to be apart of boilerplate answers and statements...
The American College of Cardiology is weighing in on the controversial ENHANCE study that has battered shares of Merck and Schering-Plough over the past couple of days. Most notably I think is that the ACC says, "There should be no reason for patients to panic."
I had planned to blog about the nearly unanimous bearish analyst commentary this morning after Genentech's earnings report yesterday. The biotech giant beat on earnings per share, but came up short on Street expectations for sales of its top four drugs. DNA shares are under pressure again today.