Biotech and Pharmaceuticals Pharmaceuticals

  • Amgen shares leaped in late trading Friday after the company said a pivotal trial of its experimental osteoporosis drug denosumab met its goal of significantly reducing the risk of bone fracture in post-menopausal women.

  • Heart Stent

    Leerink Swann, which specializes in healthcare equities research, is out with a couple of noteworthy surveys--one on the collateral damage to Merck and Schering-Plough's Vytorin this week and the other on drug-coated stents from Abbott Labs, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic.

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    So, yesterday I posited a theory that the weak American economy might be hurting sales growth of erectile dysfunction drugs. I wondered whether men might be cutting their pills in half and/or not filling their expensive prescriptions if they're having to tighten their belts.

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    Eli Lilly said on Thursday that second-quarter earnings rose on higher sales of its prescription drugs and sharply lower taxes, but the company cut its 2008 profit forecast due to special charges.

  • On the Pfizer earnings conference call this morning Chairman and CEO Jeff Kindler kicked things off by calling this a "time of great uncertainty in the world economy and capital markets and significant challenges in our industry."

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    Pfizer Wednesday said quarterly earnings more than doubled on higher sales of its prescription drugs and lower expenses, but its Chantix quit-smoking drug lost more than a third of its U.S. sales amid safety concerns.

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    GlaxoSmithKline's new chief executive set out plans to make the world's second largest drug maker a broader business with lower costs, but kept a cautious view on short-term prospects that knocked its shares.   

  • German drugs and chemicals company Merck KGaA reported a 15 percent rise in second-quarter operating profit on Wednesday thanks to rising sales of liquid crystals and multiple-sclerosis and cancer drugs.

  • Sex and The the City

    Recently I blogged about Merck advertising its cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil to a captive audience during trailers for the "Sex and the City" movie.

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    Yesterday while covering the press conference about the new study on Merck and Schering-Plough's Vytorin I quoted the lead researcher, Dr. Terje Pedersen of Ulleval University Hospital in Oslo, Norway, who said--and this is a direct quote: "However, we had a disturbing finding when we looked at safety."

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    Boston Scientific quarterly earnings fell 15 percent on declining sales of its drug-eluting stents and charges for acquisitions, divestitures and restructuring.

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    Schering-Plough, whose shares fell earlier after its Vytorin cholesterol fighter failed another study, said its earnings fell 23 percent but beat forecasts.

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    Merck  on Monday said it was not providing long-time financial forecasts as it assesses the impact of another failed study result for its Vytorin cholesterol fighter, which it produces with Schering Plough.

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    Vytorin, a cholesterol drug marketed by drugmakers Merck and Schering-Plough, failed to meet the main goals in a new study, released Monday.

  • Deal, Handshake

    The recent spate of  takeovers, particularly in pharmaceuticals, represents the first step in what analysts expect to be a busier second half of the year for mergers and acquisitions.

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    The buyout offer from Swiss drug giant Roche has shares of DNA trading at their highest level in about two-and-a-half years and according to CNBC stock-stat maven, Robert Hum, if they close up at least 8.88% it'll be their biggest one-day percentage gain since April 15, 2005.

  • Genetech

    You have to wonder at markets and analysts for that matter. They are fickle creatures.

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    Roche Holdings' $43.7 billion bid to buy the rest of Genentech highlights drugmakers' growing reliance on biotech products.

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    Merck and Schering-Plough delayed the release of their quarterly  financial results so investors could first learn the outcome of a new study of their Vytorin cholesterol fighter, and both drug makers' shares fell on jitters about the impending trial data.

  • Roche's $43.7 billion offer to buy Genentech may not be the last one, Birgit Kulhoff, pharmaceuticals analyst at Rahn & Bodmer told CNBC Monday.