Pfizer, Avant, Wyeth And Elan: Your Emails

Before I take off on vacation I wanted to clean out some of the blogreader emails that have been piling up over the past couple of weeks while I've been on the road at ASCO and ADA.

It never ceases to amaze me who reads Pharma's Market. Like the Stanford University professor who wrote to set the record straight regarding my coverage from ASCO of the brain cancer vaccine from Pfizer and Avant. "Your reporting...has been top notch," Dr. Albert Wong wrote. "(But) it was our team that originally found and was the first to show that it could be used as an anti-tumor vaccine," he said. To prove it, Dr. Wong, the director of Stanford's Brain Tumor Research Labs Department, even sent a PDF of the patent.

And speaking of giving credit where credit is due: Dr. John Spangler, a professor and director of the Tobacco Intervention Programs at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, wrote to say he believes he was the first to raise a red flag about the additional suspected side effects of the Pfizer stop-smoking drug Chantix. These are the ones recently publicized by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Dr. Spangler provided this linkand added, "Since you just wrote about Pfizer and Chantix, I thought it would be appropriate for you to see this article that outlines my safety concerns which I conveyed one year ago, but about which it is unclear anything was done."

I actually got a few atta-boys from Elanians for my posts this week about the pending Alzheimer's drug data from ELNand Wyeth. Andrew Boudreau said, "Just wanted to thank you for the well written and well rounded piece. I'm an Elanian and the sane (he said it, not me) group on the (message) board has agreed for some weeks now on the phase two (study) not reach(ing) stat(istical) sig(nificance)."

Samir Adil wrote, "I am a long time Elan bull and must say that your latest fair and balanced. On a separate note you did a great job in your interviewwith (the) Amylin CEO."

Not everyone agreed with him, though, regarding my Amylin/Byetta coverage at ADA. Henrik Jeppesen, a chartered financial analyst, wrote that he thought my reporting was "very one-sided and very much in favor of Amylin." He said I should have made mention of what he called the "great new results" unveiled by Roche on its similar once-a-week diabetes drug. The Swiss drugmaker is much further behind once-a-week Byetta partners AMLN, Lilly and Alkermes and some analysts say the Roche data don't look as good--at least, not yet.

And a reader who didn't provide his/her name, only an email address that begins "ezgold", sent this message (the caps are theirs): "I SEE YOU B@*%?#&S ARE STILL COMMON BRED SHILLS FOR BYETTA." The person signed off with a profane salutation.

Like I said, it never ceases to amaze me who reads Pharma's Market.

Questions? Comments?