GENEVA, Aug 28- The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday in a bleak assessment of the deadly disease.» Read More
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.
In a remarkably candid "Open Letter" on the homepage of its web site Genentech is taking a step back from implementing its new restrictive policy over the use of the cancer drug Avastin in lieu of Lucentis for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of adult blindness. I had recently blogged about the company's action and angry reader response to it.
TheStreet.com's senior biotech writer Adam Feuerstein broke this story earlier today, but now we've confirmed it independently. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is changing its ways.
Pfizer has been using Dr. Robert Jarvik, the inventor of the Jarvik Artificial Heart, for quite some time now as its Lipitor "celebrity" pitchman. But recently I've noticed something remarkable creeping into his copy--the script he reads for TV and radio spots and the text that appears in the print ads.
British health authorities today announced that starting next fall, all 12- and 13-year-old girls will have to get the controversial shots to prevent the sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical cancer. Merck and Sanofi-Aventis are partners on the vaccine Gardasil and the UK-based GlaxoSmithKline makes a similar one Cervarix.
If the stock closes down at least 4.46% today (as I write this it is off nearly 7%) Eli Lilly will suffer its worst one-day loss in more than four years, according to our resident statistical expert Robert Hum. If it were to close off more than 7.79%, Hum says it would be the stock's biggest one-day fall since Oct. 23, 2002--almost five years to the day.
Shares in the world's second biggest drug company, GlaxoSmithKline, are giving back all of yesterday's gains in early trading this morning. That's because sales of its embattled diabetes drug, Avandia and other Avandia-related products took a huge dive in the third quarter. Down 48% in the U.S. from the same time last year.
It isn't moving the stock, but Dendreon this morning announced that it has signed up all of the patients for the big clinical trial that could lead to its prostate cancer drug, Provenge, winning Food and Drug Administration approval. The completion of enrollment was not unexpected, so that's why people aren't trading on the news.
My recent posts on Genentech trying to crack down on doctors using its cheaper cancer drug Avastin instead of the more expensive Lucentis to treat patients with age-related macular degeneration--elicited a lot of emails from readers all over the world.
Just months after launching what was hailed as a revolutionary new product, Pfizer is taking it off the market. And it has nothing to do with safety. It has everything to do with sales--or the lack, thereof. The world's biggest drug company only recently started direct-to-consumer advertising for Exubera, but it apparently didn't work.
There was a time within the past couple of years that it seemed you couldn't open a major newspaper or watch a TV news program without seeing a story about the bird flu and Tamiflu--the antiviral medicine from Roche and Gilead Sciences. GILD invented the drug and later sold rights to Roche which pays GILD a royalty on sales.
If you saw the headline, you would've thought that Johnson and Johnson might help power the Dow today. The hybrid pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer healthcare products company handily beat the Street and raised its guidance for the year.
Late last week, I blogged about keeping an eye on the Lucentis sales number when Genentech reports earnings. Well, the company is just out with its release and, sure enough, revenue from the drug for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) fell sequentially from the second quarter to the third quarter.
This morning on "Squawk Box" and "Squawk on the Street" I reported on a new study showing that a simple blood test might predict whether you will develop Alzheimer's Disease. The report, which appears in the scientific, peer-reviewed journal "Nature Medicine...
For quite some time now analysts and investors have been speculating that big pharma would go on a biotech buying binge. So, will the announcement by Biogen Idec late Friday that it's putting itself on the market be the spark that ignites an M & A explosion in the sector? Perhaps.
I blogged earlier today that I'd reached out to Pfizer for comment regarding Jeff Kindler's contribution to Sen. Hillary Clinton and would let you know if or when I heard back. Well, this just arrived in my inbox from Jack Cox with Corporate Affairs:
Peter Rost, who burst onto the business news landscape a few years ago as a Pfizer whistleblower and the subject of a piece on CBS' "60 Minutes", is enjoying a new career as a blogger and a reporter for Brandweek. And late yesterday he's blitzing some of his reporter contacts with this item about the apparent 180-degree change presidential politics at the world's biggest pharmaceutical company.
It didn't take long. Yesterday, I blogged that I'd be curious to hear what the response of doctors might be to Genentech's new crackdown on the use of Avastin instead of Lucentis for age-related macular degeneration. Today, the American Academy of Opthamology put out a press release saying the new policy "could have a significant impact on the care of patients with (AMD)."
Yesterday I reported that Genentech had quietly buried on its web site www.gene.com the announcement of its new crackdown against using Avastin instead of Lucentis for adult-onset blindness. From the homepage, I had counted four somewhat counterintuitive clicks to get the link to the letter detailing the new policy.
Shortly after writing my last blog entry on Genentech's new ranking and part of the reason for its fall being blamed on the Lucentis/Avastin eye drug controversy, I came across this news item on The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog.