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  • Dendreon: Did Provenge Spark Early Fireworks? Tuesday, 3 Jul 2007 | 11:56 AM ET

    The 4th of July arrived a day early for investors in Dendreon. The stock is up, yet again, on heavy volume this morning after I reported on a new review published in the journal of the American Association of Cancer Research about therapeutic cancer vaccines (see video below). Dendreon's Provenge is a therapeutic vaccine. That means it's given after you get the disease to try to power your own immune system to combat it. It shouldn't be confused with traditional preventive vaccines which are given to hopefully keep you from coming down with something.

  • Massachusetts Health Plan Seen as U.S. Model Friday, 29 Jun 2007 | 1:57 PM ET

    Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told CNBC’s “Morning Call” that he believes the Bay State’s new universal health plan mandate can succeed on the national level.

  • Glaxo, Merck Battle Over Cervical Cancer Vaccine Heats Up Wednesday, 27 Jun 2007 | 6:26 PM ET

    The battle between two drug giants over the cervical cancer vaccine market is heating up. A study being published in the British medical journal, "The Lancet," says GlaxoSmithKline's shot called "Cervarix" may be different from Merck's  Gardasil.

  • Dendreon: What's Up With The Stock Today? (Just Asking) Wednesday, 27 Jun 2007 | 4:14 PM ET

    Shares of the wildly popular and volatile Dendreon were treading water on unremarkable, relatively low volume for most of the day today. Then, all of a sudden, around 2:30 there was a big spike in the stock and volume surged. With less than 15 minutes left until the closing bell more than 11 million shares have been traded. The daily average recently is nearly 24 million. The shares are up more than 10%. There's still a large, but smaller (month over month) short interest in the stock.

  • Avandia Fight: Drs. Nissen And Home "Battle" Over Drug Tuesday, 26 Jun 2007 | 11:33 AM ET
    GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia

    The huge auditorium at the McCormick Place Convention Center was packed to the rafters. It was standing room only in the 45-hundred seat theater, although the fire department wouldn't let people stand. The doctors, scientists, and educators at the American Diabetes Association's Annual Meeting came to see the rock stars of their world--Dr. Steven Nissen who wrote the controversial New England Journal of Medicine report questioning the safety of GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia and Dr. Phillip Home who wrote--also in NEJM--the subsequent interim analysis of a GSK-sponsored study that, so far, supports Avandia's safety.

  • Progress With The American Diabetes Association Monday, 25 Jun 2007 | 11:10 AM ET
    Asco

    So, I'm back at the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago for the second time this month. We were here for ASCO--the cancer conference--at the beginning of June. But this trip is much different. Unlike ASCO, the American Diabetes Association which is holding its annual meeting here is letting us broadcast from inside the building! ASCO would not, has not and seems like never will let us work within the huge halls. A spokesman claims we'd cause a "media circus" and that the financial media threaten to compromise the "scientific integrity" of ASCO.

  • Michael Moore's "Sicko" Summer Thursday, 21 Jun 2007 | 12:03 PM ET
    Michael Moore

    The tables have turned. Over the past couple of years I've been to a number of pharmaceutical industry related and drug company events--where the security and paranoia have been noticeably increased over what I referred to as "The Michael Moore Effect". Ever since it became known that the documentary filmmaker was setting his sites on healthcare the companies I cover have been on heightened alert. But, at least for now, I think they can let their guard down.

  • A More "Crystal" Bristol-Myers After Ruling Tuesday, 19 Jun 2007 | 2:23 PM ET

    Bristol-Myers Squibb's future looks a lot clearer. A federal judge this morning ruled the patent on the bloodthinner Plavix which Bristol shares with Sanofi-Aventis is valid. And Judge Sidney Stein added the companies are entitled to injunctive relief and damages. Money. It'll come from the scrappy, pesky, Canadian, privately-held generic drug company "Apotex". Last summer Apotex took advantage of a legal loophole in a sweet side deal it negotiated with Bristol and launched generic Plavix.

  • A U.S. judge on Tuesday ruled that the patent on the multibillion-dollar blood clot-preventing drug Plavix is valid, handing a major victory to Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis.

  • GlaxoSmithKline plans to launch five new cancer drugs by 2010, tapping into a $40 billion-a-year market that is growing by 20 percent annually, its research head said on Monday.

  • Double D: Diets and Dendreon Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 | 2:54 PM ET
    Alli Diet Pills

    Today's the day! Wal-Mart starts selling the first FDA-approved, over-the-counter weightloss pill today. GlaxoSmithKline says Alli should be on drugstore and discount store shelves everywhere by tomorrow. Alli is the diet pill that can have embarrassing gastrointestinal side effects. Coincidentally, the launch occurs the day after an FDA Advisory Committee shut out Sanofi-Aventis' weightloss pill Zimulti.

  • Alzheimer's is Everywhere Tuesday, 12 Jun 2007 | 11:53 AM ET

    Yes, Alzheimer's is everywhere. And I'm not referring to the new study that forecasts that the number of people worldwide with Alzheimer's Disease will quadruple between now and 2050 to more than 100 million cases. Staggering, sobering, daunting, scary. No, I'm referring to the sudden critical mass of media coverage of the disease.

  • Avandia Mania Thursday, 7 Jun 2007 | 3:26 PM ET

    As Congress, the FDA and the drugmakers wrestle with what appear to be impending warnings about the safety of Avandia, investors are wrestling with estimates of the collateral damage to this multi-billion dollar GlaxoSmithKline franchise. Some say it's the next Vioxx and that investors have priced into the stock a high likelihood that GSK will eventually pull the drug from the market. Others compare it to what happened with Pfizer's painkiller Celebrex in the wake of the Vioxx withdrawal.

  • Contest Finalist Tepichin: "Going For the Fences" Thursday, 24 May 2007 | 4:22 PM ET

    John Tepichin says he's all in on his one stock--Biomarin--and "going for the fences," as the Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge is coming to a close. The contest ends Friday at the closing bell. John's stock was down some 2 percent today, but he says he has some "strong" ideas for Friday. He's currently in 15th place out of 20 finalists--so John better have some pretty good "fence going" ideas.

  • Lipitor: Loser Thursday, 24 May 2007 | 3:16 PM ET

    Big pharma analysts keep close tabs on prescription trends. Many of them issue weekly reports to clients about what's up, what's down, what's holding steady. Investors use the data as a leading indicator for what quarterly sales and profits might look like. So, check out what A.G. Edwards' Joe Tooley is writing in his most recent "Weekly Prescription Trends" report.Tooley titles it, "Lipitor Continues to Decline, Can Simvastatin (the generic version of Zocor) Surpass It?"

  • Contest: Down To Wire As Nancy B. Holds Lead Thursday, 24 May 2007 | 9:38 AM ET
    Nancy Beaumont

    Good morning everyone. Today--Thursday--is a big day for our contestants. The trades they execute prior to 4pm will be the last trades that will impact their total portfolio value based on their performance on Friday. And, the race at the top gets tighter each day. Only $22K separates the top three positions. Nancy Beaumont holds first place for the 3rd straight day on the 9.75% gain of The Men's Wearhouse. Nancy looks like she may maintain her first position with Gymboree up almost 10% in extended hours.

  • Drugs from A to Z: Alli, Avandia, Acomplia & Zimulti Wednesday, 23 May 2007 | 1:44 PM ET

    In the middle of the Avandia blowup, GlaxoSmithKline this week is launching the new over-the-counter diet pill "Alli." The company says it's spending 150 million bucks on the first-year marketing of the formerly prescription-only Xenical from Roche.A big chunk of that is going toward a multi-pronged educational campaign to convince dieters they have to change their eating habits and exercise if they want to get the maximum benefit from Alli. That's crucial with this drug because the more fat you eat, the worse the gastrointestinal side effects. Clue: Glaxo is telling Alli users to wear dark pants and bring an extra pair to work. The company has gone so far as to set up an exhibit in New York City this week where people can get more information about Alli.

  • A High Dose of News & a Bit of Pharma Funny Business Tuesday, 22 May 2007 | 2:44 PM ET

    So, let's start with GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia. The stock is rebounding a little bit today after the pummeling it took yesterday. Once again, the New England Journal of Medicine study saw an "embargo break" by another media outlet. That means the news hit in the middle of the trading day yesterday, catching just about everyone by surprise. The embargo was supposed to have lifted at 5 p.m. ET yesterday, which would have given all of the stakeholders -- chiefly Glaxo -- the ability to issue their prepared press releases at the same time.

  • 'Slingers' All Around! Friday, 18 May 2007 | 12:45 PM ET

    It sits there in front of you: a plate filled to the overflow point with chili -- and under it, two cheeseburger patties, fried potatoes and one egg, over easy.What are you about to do?

  • Contest Stocks: Acxiom Popular Winner Friday, 18 May 2007 | 12:00 PM ET

    Here's our contest stock report for both the finals and Second Chance Showdown. Acxiom proved to be a winner for several finalsts--and you can see why. It was up 18%. But those who had ADS did even better as that stock was up 24% on news of a merger. Weak earnings took a toll on the worst performing stocks--while the most active and widely held reamined the same.

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