ATLANTA, Aug 21- Appearing thin but smiling, a Texas doctor who weeks ago entered an Atlanta hospital in a full-body biohazard suit to be treated for Ebola said on Thursday he was "thrilled to be alive" as doctors declared him virus-free and safe for release.» Read More
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.
What a week for upsets. First, the 35-game home field winning streak of my USC Trojans comes to an end at the hands of the 40-point underdog Stanford Cardinal. Then, today, Genentech's six-year reign at the top of a big industry survey is over. Boehringer Ingelheim is the new number one!
Late yesterday an FDA panel of outside experts unanimously recommended the agency approve Medtronic's drug-coated stent called, "Endeavor". Unlike drugs, there is no telegraphed date for an agency decision, but analysts think the FDA will approve the device by the end of the year or early next year.
Melanoma -- a type of skin cancer -- is the most common form of cancer. It can spread very quickly and the prognosis often is not good. The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 60,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year and more than 8,000 patients will die. You can find out more about it on the ACS's website.
As we head into the thick of earnings season some analysts are putting out their preview notes for clients. And a couple of interesting ones about the kings of biotech, Genentech and Amgen, have come into my inbox over the past couple of days. Genentech reports after the bell next Monday, October 15. And Amgen comes out, also after the bell, ten days later on the 25th.
This morning, the world's second biggest drug company, GlaxoSmithKline, announced that Andrew Witty will replace JP Garnier as CEO at the end of next May. It's been known for a while that Garnier would be retiring next year, and the question was who would be tapped to succeed him.
This morning Bear Stearns put a $700 price target on shares of Google. But that's not the only stock getting a new stratospheric price target by an analyst. Michael Shulman is not Bear Stearns--he writes a newsletter for subscribers called, "ChangeWave Biotech Investor" and he maintains a blog. And in his weekly message yesterday Shulman moved his price target on Cepheid spacer from $40 to $110.
Scott Richter, portfolio manager with Fifth Third Asset Management, oversees the Fifth Third Disciplined Large Cap Value Fund. The fund is up 8 percent year-to-date and 13 percent over the last three years. The strategist offered CNBC viewers and CNBC.com readers a few of his favorite stocks in the health care and biotechnology sector.
Close on the heels of announcing the hiring of a Chief Talent Officer, Pfizer this morning named a new head of Global Research and Development to replace John LaMattina who had earlier said he'd be leaving the drug company. It was on LaMattina's watch that Pfizer's next potential breakout blockbuster drug, torcetrapib for cholesterol, failed in a late-stage clinical trial.
Pfizer put out a press release this morning announcing that it has added another office in the C-Suite. The world's biggest drug company has hired a CTO. What's a CTO, you ask?? Well, it doesn't stand for what you might guess--Chief Technology Officer. Nope, Pfizer has created the position of Chief Talent Officer.
This week it's 25 years since the first of seven people in Chicagoland died after taking Tylenol laced with cyanide. The scare led to new industry-standard, tamper-resistant over-the-counter drug packaging and became an enduring textbook case for corporate crisis management.
Team Biotech at the boutique firm of Rodman & Renshaw is picking up coverage today of the highly controversial therapeutic cancer vaccine space. In a 330-page research packet for clients analyst Ren Benjamin provides a nearly 200-page primer on the technology and then individual notes on four therapeutic cancer vaccine companies.
The Dow is sitting at a new high and you could argue that the move in the pharmaceuticals sector today is largely market related with Dow components Merck, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson all trading up. As I write this the biggest dollar gainer in the group is Eli Lilly. But the largest percentage gainer is Schering-Plough.
Everyone's favorite biotech--investors seem to either love it or hate it--was one of the presenters this morning at the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference in New York City. CEO Dr. Mitchell Gold once again did the honors. Generally speaking, biotech investors focus on milestones or key events in drug development.
A couple of days home sick with daytime television as your nursemaid can tell you a lot about the current state of multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical advertising. Yeah, we all know it's ubiquitous, but there are at least a couple of noticeable new players and an older one hitting the airwaves.
Right on the heels of my previous blog entry about an analyst saying a Medicare reconsideration of its anemia drug reimbursement policy may be in the offing comes this news out of the agency.
After being down about half-a-dollar in early trading, volatile shares of Amgen are trimming their loses and heading back into positive territory at this writing. That turnaround could be from the dissemination of a research note from Wachovia biotech analyst George Farmer.