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Archive for the ‘Genentech’ Category

TODAY’S NEWS

Big news on the leukemia front: NovartisTasigna gets priority FDA review for newly-diagnosed patients; and Roche/Genentech‘s Rituxan approved for CLL.

A quarter of new prescriptions go unfilled.

Statins: cardiovascular benefits far outweigh the diabetes risks – Statin drugs raise the risk of diabetes significantly, but the danger appeared puny compared with their cardiovascular benefits, researchers found in a meta-analysismore

Gilead looking to ride a Quad to victory in HIV – Gilead Sciences has gone some way to ensuring that its dominance of the HIV market continues after phase II data from its “Quad” pill presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections showed non-inferiority to its second best-selling drug, Atriplamore

Pharma eMarketing round-up: some great links and a big, thought-provoking question.

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PLUS

Even Me-Too Drugs get the blues

JUST FOR FUN

I don’t recommend you try this at home! But what happens when an iMac meets a house fire? The result is…surprising, to say the least!

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TODAY’S NEWS

Spitting into the wind – Allergan sues the FDA about freedom of speech (esp. off-label discussions).  This particular legal discussion needs to happen, actually – but it takes a brass pair to be the one filing the suit!

Medical iPhone applications – list of 25 here, plus this one just released.

Genentech’s Lucentis: effective in a week in study – The optical drug Lucentis proved effective in two late-stage studies in improving the vision of patients with retinal vein occlusion as early as the seventh day of treatment, Genentech said on Sundaymore

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PLUS

A doctor’s office you may just want to skip!

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TODAY’S NEWS

Sepracor to be purchased by Japanese company, according to report – By purchasing Sepracor, which sells drugs to treat central nervous system and respiratory disorders, Dainippon would be able to open a sales channel in the U.S. for its new schizophrenia drug currently in phase-3 clinical studiesmore

Pfizer fined $2.3 Billion (not a typo!) – Officials from the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services said the world’s largest drug company promoted four drugs for use on certain ailments or at dosages that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administrationmore Plus, Jim Edwards adds 10 amazing facts about the settlement.
On the Pfizer fraud (note that the nonsense occurred at Pharmacia, before Pfizer acquired them), here’s the “money quote” from one of the internal whistleblowers, which perfectly underscores my recent blog post on the Gold-in Rule:
“In the Army, I was expected to protect people at all costs,” said the whistleblower, John Kopchinski, a West Point graduate and Gulf War veteran. “At Pfizer I was expected to increase profits at all costs, even when sales meant endangering lives. I couldn’t do that.” (hat tip: PharmaGossip)

Forest Labs on the hot seat for questionable promotional practices – those 88 pages make clear that one of the principal means by which Forest hoped to persuade psychiatrists, primary care doctors and other medical specialists to prescribe Lexapro was by finding many ways to put money into doctors’ pockets and food into their mouthsmore And, more commentary here on Daniel Carlat’s blog.

Novartis reports results on Diovan and reduced cardiovascular events – Novartis presented data at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress in Barcelona, Spain, which demonstrated that the addition of the angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) Diovan (valsartan) to a non-ARB-based treatment regimen for high blood pressure provided a significant 45% relative reduction in cardiovascular eventsmore

Promising (though very early) results for a new Genentech cancer drug – In a small study, the drug, known as GDC-0449, shrank tumors in 18 of 33 patients, or 55%, with an advanced form of a skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma. In addition, the drug had a dramatic, though temporary, effect on a 26-year-old patient who had undergone multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation in an unsuccessful battle against a brain cancer called medulloblastoma….more

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JUST FOR FUN

We don’t see them too often at this latitude. But here are 30 great aurora borealis shots. One day, I want to see one of these “live”!

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Roche-Genentech – the cuts begin – Anxiety rippled through Genentech this week as the Swiss drug firm Roche began to cut rank-and-file jobs as it folds the South San Francisco biotech firm into its global operations…more

Sciele-Victory link-up: Nah, guess not.

J&J, Vertex, and biodollars.

Merck gets expanded approval for HIV drug – The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it has approved expanded use of a Merck & Co. HIV drug, Isentress. Known chemically as raltegravir, it is now approved for treating new and existing patients with the virus that causes AIDS, in combination with other types of HIV drugs…more

Wyeth has the anti-aging market to itself, and didn’t know it!

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OK, so it’s a “baker’s three” (8) today. Makes up for yesterday’s zero…!

Patent-holder urges FDA to NOT approve prasugrel (from Lilly/Daiichi Sankyo).

Novartis getting cold feet at the Alcon altar? – Novartis betrothed itself to Alcon, but it may not follow through with the engagement. CEO Daniel Vasella told Bloomberg that his company might just pass on its option to buy a majority stake in the eye-care companymore

Abbott and AstraZeneca apply for combo drug approval – CERTRIAD is an investigational compound containing the active ingredients of CRESTOR and TRILIPIX under development by Abbott and AstraZeneca for the treatment of mixed dyslipidemiamore

Hope for treating resistant TB? – An experimental drug that starves the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis makes conventional therapy five times more effective against drug-resistant TB, doctors reported on Wednesday. The company-run study found that the Johnson & Johnson drug TMC207, if added to a standard cocktail of five other TB medicines, cleared traces of the tuberculosis bacteria in the sputum of 48 percent of the volunteers after eight weeks. Only 9 percent of patients given the five older drugs alone showed that type of improvement…more

Genzyme buys up rights to Campath from Bayer (for potential MS treatment)

Takeda‘s nex-gen diabetes drug (alogliptin) delayed in Europe also. Major blow.

Questions swirling around Roche/Genentech‘s Avastin – Cancer researchers are beginning to ask why Roche‘s very expensive and very lucrative drug Avastin is not providing bigger survival gains for cancer patients… “Is it a home run drug? No,” says Jennifer Litton, a breast cancer specialist at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. “When I’ve seen it work, it works phenomenally, but we need to get smarter as to who those people are that get those dramatic responses.”more

PLUS – what is J&J up to? Here’s the preview

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FDA extends review of AstraZeneca/BMS experimental diabetes drug Onglyza.

Teva blocked from launching generic form of Lilly‘s Evista; also rumored to be eyeballing a purchase of Watson.

Roche/Genentech‘s Avastin misses the mark in colon cancer study.

PLUS – you want pharma growth? Sanofi says, Go East! (I know another big pharma also ramping up very rapidly in China…)

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GSK and Pfizer join forces to create a new company focused on HIV. I really like the idea here – I think highly-focused companies can be much more nimble and effective.

Dendreon finally gets some good clinical news about experimental prostate cancer treatment Provenge.

B-I launches new unbranded website for TIA (mini-stroke) sufferers.

If there was any doubt as to who was taking over whom (Roche/Genetech), let’s put that to rest.

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