U.S. health officials said Wednesday they approved the Flumist nasal spray influenza vaccine for children between ages 2 and 5. Flumist is made by MedImmune Inc, which was recently acquired by AstraZeneca.
Drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Thursday it had seen strong demand for $6.9 billion of bonds it issued to repay a significant part of the U.S. commercial paper taken on for the acquisition of biotechnology company Medimmune.
The gloves are off. Overnight, Pfizer came out with a new study on the world's top-selling drug, Lipitor, for cholesterol. The company says if you switch from its drug to generic Zocor you've got a 30% greater chance of dying from a heart attack, stroke or some other "major cardiovascular" event.
As several of the major pharmaceutical companies struggle through a period of a relative dearth of big, new products, the job casualties and the share buybacks are piling up this earnings season. Today, Sanofi-Aventis is joining the group. The French drugmaker announced it will buy back more than $4 billion of its stock and get rid of even more sales reps.
Stocks closed sharply lower and the Dow saw its biggest decline since the market meltdown in late February as disappointing news from the housing industry renewed concerns about credit markets and the U.S. economy. "This is just one more of the period panics that we've had in the last six months," said Barton Biggs, managing partner at Traxis Partners. "The puncture of the debt bubble is a positive development and restores some kind of sanity to the debt market."
AstraZeneca plans to axe around 7,600 jobs as part of an expanded cost-cutting drive, it said on Thursday as it nudged up its 2007 earnings outlook.
A new study shows lowering cholesterol could increase the risk of cancer. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology reports that researchers observed as much as triple the incidence of cancer among patients who lowered their bad or LDL cholesterol using the popular drugs known as statins.
Yesterday, I blogged that you should watch the Lipitor number in Pfizer's earnings report today. Well, the world's biggest drug company, is having major problems with the world's biggest-selling drug. Lipitor sales fell a surprising 25% in the U.S. and 13% worldwide in the second quarter. And the company says for the full year revenue from the cholesterol fighter could be down as much as 5%.
The headline might say, "Johnson & Johnson Beats the Street," but investors are looking behind it and that's what is pushing this Dow component down this morning. For example, JNJ says its topline growth would have been just 3.6% instead of 13% if it had not bought Pfizer's consumer health care business last year for $16.6 billion. JNJ is kind of a three-pronged hybrid: pharma, medical devices and consumer healthcare.
Roche has signed a deal worth up to $1 billion with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, giving it access to the U.S. firm's skills in the new science of silencing genes to fight disease.
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.
Shares of London-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca made modest gains (down 0.9%), reversing a recent downward trend thanks to positive momentum generated by rival GlaxoSmithKline (down 0.7%).
AstraZeneca's Chief Financial Officer Jon Symonds, who lost out in a 2005 race for the CEO job, is to leave the company at the end of July to join investment bank Goldman Sachs.
GlaxoSmithKline, its shares off 12% in the past fortnight due to a safety scare over diabetes drug Avandia, is under growing pressure to increase cash returns to mollify shareholders.
The Food and Drug Administration approved AstraZeneca's once-daily schizophrenia drug, Seroquel XR.
A newer version of MedImmune Inc.'s FluMist influenza vaccine is beneficial for use in some younger children, a panel of medical experts told U.S. regulators on Wednesday.
A newer version of MedImmune FluMist appears effective for children younger than 5 years old, although safety data on the influenza vaccine is still under review, U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff said in a document released today.
Bristol-Myers Squibb's recent agreements with rival drug companies to develop and sell drugs is a signal that the company is committed to staying independent, reports CNBC's David Faber.
Several other major drug companies were apparently interested in buying MedImmune, including Merck, Eli Lilly and possibly Novartis, CNBC’s David Faber reported Tuesday.
M&A news and earnings updates provided some of the catalysts for Monday's most actively traded stocks.