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  • Pfizer "Dials Up" Telecom Exec D'Amelio For Help (update) Wednesday, 22 Aug 2007 | 11:00 AM ET
    Frank D'Amilio

    Late last year, in his first and last interview with CNBC following the blowup of the cholesterol drug torcetrapib, I asked new Pfizer CEO, Jeff Kindler, how he could go from "selling chicken" at Boston Market (he used to run the chain for McDonald's) to "selling drugs". Based on the subsequent vibe I got, it was clear that some of the Pfizer media relations people at the time didn't like the question.

  • FDA Debate: Is Agency Really Doing Its Job? Tuesday, 21 Aug 2007 | 12:40 PM ET
    Dr.Andrew von Eschenbach

    In an editorial today, USA Today calls on the Food and Drug Administration to let dying patients get quicker, easier access to promising, potentially lifesaving or life-extending, developmental drugs. The paper argues that thousands of people in "dire circumstances" deserve "the chance to take a last-ditch gamble".

  • Diabetes: Does Novo Nordisk Signal Big Developments? Monday, 20 Aug 2007 | 12:28 PM ET

    Novo Nordisk, the world's biggest diabetes drug company, is very lightly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, but check out the move in the stock today. Coincidentally, on the day that The New York Times runs a front-page story (with two jump pages) on how controlling diabetes is about lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, the Danish drugmaker is out with major data on its glucose fighting drug Liraglutide.

  • Pfizer: Does Corporate Cash Rule Pharma Right Now? Monday, 20 Aug 2007 | 10:36 AM ET

    This has been a lousy summer for investors in Pfizer. The stock traded at nearly 28 bucks in June and today it's fighting its way back up over the $24 mark. Goldman Sachs big pharma analyst James Kelly in a research note to clients is reiterating his buy rating on the shares, but is lowering his 12-month price target from $30 to $29.

  • Amgen's Full-Court Press Friday, 17 Aug 2007 | 5:37 PM ET

    On Amgen's conference call the other day regarding the biotech company's cutbacks, officials repeatedly stated that they think the federal government's new, restrictive guidelines for use and payment of Amgen's bread-and-butter anemia drugs will hurt patients and specifically, result in the need for more risky, old-fashioned blood transfusions to treat the condition.

  • So J&J Thinks it Can Dance Friday, 17 Aug 2007 | 1:46 PM ET

    At CNBC we use -- among others -- a couple of primary business news wire services -- NewsEdge, part of Thomson, and Relegence, part of AOL.

  • Drug Downers Thursday, 16 Aug 2007 | 3:58 PM ET
    Elvis Presley

    Thirty years ago, I was in Las Vegas. My stepmother took me to see Ann-Margret at The Hilton and I remember our waitress telling us that Elvis was the only one who could consistently pack the room. It was strange that he passed away the next day. On this, the 30th anniversary of the King's death from overdosing on prescription drugs, the stocks of the companies that make prescription drugs are having a very dark day.

  • Amgen Cuts Costs, Investors Cut & Run Thursday, 16 Aug 2007 | 10:53 AM ET

    Usually when a company announces cost cuts that will help improve cash flow and buoy profits, investors cheer and buy the stock. After the bell yesterday, Amgen revealed it's going to get rid of as many as 2,600 employees, cut its capital expenditures this year and next by nearly $2 billion and close or downsize plants. The measures are being taken to help absorb the blow from plummeting sales of Amgen's anemia drug, Aranesp, which is facing intense safety and reimbursement issues. This morning the stock is trading at a new multi-year low.

  • Buying into Byetta Wednesday, 15 Aug 2007 | 3:22 PM ET
    Amylin

    Shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Alkermes are rallying today after FBR Biotech Analyst, Jim Reddoch, put out a research note saying the once-a-week diabetes drug they're working on could be a $3 billion-a-year seller. AMLN shares have been on a tear in recent months, rising from about $37 in March to nearly $50 today. That's on investor anticipation of robust test results and continued speculation that AMLN could get taken out.

  • FDA: Behind the Numbers Wednesday, 15 Aug 2007 | 10:53 AM ET

    BioMedTracker, which monitors drug development for investors, ran some numbers for me. As of August 13th, how does the number of FDA-approved drugs and "approvable" drugs compare to the same period a year ago? According to the company, drug approvals are down 16% and approvable letters are up 55%. An approvable letter is what the FDA issues when it believes it might someday okay a drug, but only if a company provides additional -- often publicly unspecified -- data. So, for investors, "approvable" is a euphemism for delay.

  • Turning Up the Heat (Again) on the FDA Tuesday, 14 Aug 2007 | 3:08 PM ET
    FDA

    For the second time in two weeks, an op-ed item appears in The Wall Street Journal today calling out the FDA for its record on timely approval of cancer drugs.

  • Pharma's Market Mail Tuesday, 14 Aug 2007 | 11:46 AM ET

    Bryan Gaffin, VP, Group Creative Director at G2 Direct & Digital writes to say that his division and not G2 Branding & Design is responsible for the new Pfizer website. They're part of the same company, WPP Group, but separate divisions. Credit where credit is due.

  • A Touchy, Pfeely Pfizer Monday, 13 Aug 2007 | 6:03 PM ET

    If you haven't been to the world's biggest drug company's homepage recently you might want to check it out. It used to be very corporate and stodgy. But earlier this month, the website got a facelift.

  • Amgen May Downsize, Analyst Upgrade Monday, 13 Aug 2007 | 12:30 PM ET

    After falling to a new low on Friday, Bernstein Biotech Analyst, Geoffrey Porges, is upgrading shares of AMGN from Market Perform to Outperform. Investors are bidding up the beaten down stock in midday trading. Bernstein makes a market in the stock.

  • Amgen: Reports Of Layoffs Question Company's Health Friday, 10 Aug 2007 | 2:03 PM ET
    The sign outside Amgen Inc.'s entrance. Thousand Oaks, Calif.

    The Los Angeles Times reports in a front-page article that Amgen may announce layoffs soon. The report attributes the information that the company may get rid of 15% of its employees within the next several weeks to "three people familiar with the matter".

  • Johnson & Johnson Puts Red Cross In Legal "Cross Hairs" Thursday, 9 Aug 2007 | 12:11 PM ET
    Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson, the drug/medical device/consumer health products company reeling from a plunge in sales of its anemia drug, Procrit, and its drug-coated stent, Cypher, is going to court. Not to defend a lucrative pharmaceutical patent, but to get The Red Cross to stop using its red cross logo on certain marketed products like humidifiers and grooming tools.

  • Merck: As Stock Gets Upgrade Is Vioxx Coming Back? Monday, 6 Aug 2007 | 11:26 AM ET

    In very early trading MRK shares are rallying this morning on the wings of an upgrade at Cowen & Co. by analyst Steve Scala from Neutral to Outperform. He's been at a Neutral since a year and one month ago when the stock was sitting in the 30s. Today it's in the low 50s.

  • Healing Healthcare: Prescriptions For Success Saturday, 4 Aug 2007 | 7:02 AM ET

    Our five-part series looks at what government and business are doing to reform healthcare, from putting greater emphasis on  preventative medicine to the adoption of  universal coverage.

  • Trexima Study Update: No Hamsters Harmed Friday, 3 Aug 2007 | 2:44 PM ET
    Chinese Hamsters

    I have a clarification to make regarding my previous blog entry about the Chinese Hamster problem facing GlaxoSmithKline and Pozen. Thanks to blog-reader Brian Orelli with www.babybiotechs.com who caught the error and pointed it out in an email: "Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells are grown in tissue culture and the mega dose of the drug was given to the CHO cells growing in media in a tissue culture dish/flask in an incubator...

  • This morning we learned that the FDA has issued another "approvable" letter to Pozen and GlaxoSmithKline for their migraine drug Trexima over safety concerns. POZN shares are down big. The company has scheduled a conference call for 11 a.m. ET. This is the third regulatory stumbling block for this drug and puts it on a timeline now where it could end up competing...