NEW YORK, Oct. 1- Two tiny companies are preparing to challenge some of the world's largest drug makers in the battle for dominance in the $3 billion global market for influenza vaccines, armed with little more than tiny tobacco plants.» Read More
For a Monday before the Thanksgiving holiday, this is turning into an extremely busy day on the biotech beat. Two of the stories actually broke on Sunday: Celgene buying Pharmion for nearly $3 billion and Genentech announcing a breakthrough in brain cancer. Then, before the opening bell this morning Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Bayer won the expected Food and Drug Administration approval of their drug Nexavar for liver cancer.
Last night, Bristol-Myers Squibb and ImClone Systems announced that a study being published in the prestigious "New England Journal of Medicine" shows their cancer drug Erbitux extended the lives of some metastatic colon cancer patients. The median survival of the people on Erbitux was just over six months versus about four-and-a-half months for those who got conventional drug treatment.
The surprising Vioxx settlement brought me back to the office today in the middle of my vacation--I could've literally phoned it in as I did on "Squawk Box" this morning, but as long as I was in town, I'm too hard core to stay at home working around the house when a big story like this one breaks on my beat.
As I begin my vacation, I wanted to tell you about a story I did that's airing while I'm away on the new edition of CNBC's "Business Nation" this Wednesday (November 7th) at 9 p and midnight ET. It's about the increasingly strained relationship between drug sales reps and doctors.
I'm taking some much needed time off for a couple of weeks. Actually, our scheduling guru at CNBC, Alex Crippen, told me if I don't use all of the days I've accumulated by the end of next month, I'll lose them. I consider myself a hard worker, but I'm not that generous. So, off I go.
There's a flurry of selling going on this morning in shares of the biopharma Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Overnight the embargo lifted on the long awaited results of the company's mid-stage test on a new type of Hepatitis C drug. Two studies show that six months out 60% and 65% of patients had no detectable virus in their blood.
This morning we got more evidence about the havoc generic Zocor is wreaking on all of the companies that make brand-name statins--the pills to fight cholesterol. AstraZeneca is the latest casualty. On a down day in the markets AZN is one of the biggest losers in the sector.
Yet another chapter in the unfolding saga of Genentech's Avastin being used instead of Lucentis to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The other day I blogged about the new "Open Letter" on the company's homepage announcing that it's delaying the implementation of its attempted crackdown on the cheaper, similar cancer drug being used...
Today's the day Eli Lilly was expected to get a Food and Drug Administration decision on the first-ever one-a-day impotence drug. Right now, the company sells Cialis for use as needed. But men could pop this one every day--like an aspirin or multi-vitamin--so the drug would always be "on boa
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.