Posts Tagged ‘Millennium’

There’s a ton of stuff going on this week, plus we’re in pre-ASCO mode (so lots of oncology news – scroll down for those headlines). Here we go:

What’s a vaptan? Maybe something pretty exciting – A new class of drugs called vaptans may be able to treat a wide variety of conditions including painful periods, brain hemorrhage, psychotic disorders and glaucoma, Belgian researchers report…more

One less tree in that Forest – Forest Laboratories Inc has ended its agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd to co-promote Daiichi’s blood-pressure drug Azor, as Forest shifts resources to support other products, the companies said on Monday…more

Viagra: good for MD? – Researchers found the way the drug works to combat impotence may also help ward off heart failure in muscular dystrophy patients…more

OK, it’s not pharma per se, but it’s way too cool: Nanohealing – A startup based in Cambridge, MA, says that it plans to soon begin clinical trials of a nanostructured material that stops bleeding almost instantly…more

Here’s a switch: the FDA downgrading a warning – The FDA has eased restrictions on drugs used to enhance ultrasound images of the heart…more

Abbott’s new stent looking very good: interesting backstory – Abbott said this morning that its Xience stent outperformed Boston Scientific’s Taxus on several measures in a two-year study. The results mean the stent is likely to get the green light from the FDA soon…more

Merck and Ranbaxy: let’s develop something together – Merck signed a deal on Monday with Indian generics giant Ranbaxy to codevelop a new line of anti-infectives. As part of the agreement, Ranbaxy stands to receive more than $100 million for each drug that passes a certain milestone. That’s on top of an undisclosed upfront payment…more

Takeda’s financial results hiccup: no surprise when you’re buying another company!Japan’s largest drug manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceutical, reported on Friday its first operating profit decline in 16 years and warned that the net profit in fiscal 2009 would diminish by more than a half as a result of its recent $8.8 billion deal to buy Millennium Pharmaceuticals in the United States…more

Daiichi Sankyo: the ups and downs of growth – Daiichi Sankyo Co., Japan’s third- largest drugmaker, had a 44 percent jump in quarterly net income, led by higher sales of its blood pressure treatments. The company predicts profit will drop this year…more

Trasylol bows out – Bayer AG is removing remaining supplies of its heart-surgery drug Trasylol from the U.S. market after a long-awaited study found it raised the risk of death compared to two alternatives, U.S. regulators said on Wednesday…more

Diabetes beating cholesterol on spending – Diabetes treatments are now the leading driver of prescription drug spending growth, displacing lipid-lowering drugs which fell precipitously after a decade of reigning in the top position, as generic drugs cut the cost of treating high cholesterol…more

The heartbreak of psoriasis to be lessened soon? – A top Johnson & Johnson research official said on Wednesday the company’s experimental drug ustekinumab could become the “gold standard” for treating psoriasis, in part because it would require only four injections a year…more

J&J gets crossed off in court – Remember that truth-is-stranger-than-fiction drama that featured Johnson & Johnson suing the American Red Cross over the use of the red cross logo? Turns out it’s not going so well for J&J. A judge today threw out most of what was left of the case, the Associated Press reportsmore

On the Oncology/pre-ASCO front:

Cancer drugs: the big growth area? – Sales of cancer drugs will grow at nearly double the rate of the global pharmaceutical market and could reach $80 billion by 2012, according to IMS Health, which tracks prescription drug sales…more

Can cancer cure Pfizer?

Novartis’ experimental RAD001 making strides with kidney cancer – Nearly two-thirds of kidney cancer patients taking Novartis AG’s RAD001 had progression of their disease delayed by a year, a significantly better result than in those taking placebo, investigators said…more

Novartis’ Zometa may slow cancer progression: A drug prescribed to prevent fractures in breast cancer patients whose tumors have spread may actually help slow the cancer itself, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday…more

Pharmalot has links to some other early ASCO news, including Avastin, Herceptin, Vectibix, Denosumab, and Alimta.


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We are loaded up this week!

Can Enbrel reverse Alzheimers? – Alzheimer’s patients given a drug usually used to treat arthritis have shown dramatic improvements, leading to hopes of a breakthrough in treating the disease…more

Pfizer plunges on reduced profits – The pharmaceutical maker reported worse than expected results across the board in its first quarter, with its earnings plunging 18% following the advent of generic competition for blood pressure treatment Norvasc and allergy medication Zyrtec…more

Merck and ghostwriting – Two JAMA articles say Merck misrepresented the death risks in one study and routinely stuck the names of top researchers onto ghostwritten scientific reports…more

Memory loss due to incontinence drugs? – Commonly used incontinence drugs may cause memory problems in some older people, a study has found…more

Takeda buys Millennium, further expanding into oncology – Japan’s largest drug company Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (OOTC:TKPHY) said Thursday it’s buying U.S. biotech company Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:MLNM) for $25 a share, in an all-cash deal valued at about $8.8 billion…more (here is an extended article from Forbes on Biotechs for Sale)

Eli Lilly cutting 500 jobs (not in sales) – Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co said on Wednesday it would cut up to 500 jobs as it streamlines manufacturing operations in its hometown of Indianapolis…more

Abbott announces strong financial results – Abbott Laboratories Inc said on Wednesday first-quarter earnings increased 34 percent on higher sales of its prescription drugs and medical devices and favorable foreign exchange factors…more

Forest: Good revenue, dim prospects, shares down – A better-than-expected profit was not enough to boost Forest Laboratories shares Tuesday, especially after the drugmaker offered a dim outlook for 2009 and forecast significantly increased spending on research and development to improve its drug pipeline…more

Attacking Alzheimers: are we on the right track? – The drug industry has bet heavily on one theory about the disease. What if that theory is wrong?…more

PDI and Novartis sign deal for Elidel promotion – Contract sales firm PDI signed a four-year agreement with Novartis to deploy a field force promoting Elidel, a second-line eczema treatment for patients older than 2 years, according to Kim Golodetz, a spokesperson for PDI. The deal calls for deployment of “approximately 100 full-time equivalent sales representatives who will call upon physicians nationwide,” a PDI statement said…more

Novartis promotes two more to top positions – Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG on Thursday said it promoted two senior U.S. executives to head its U.S. drugs unit and overall U.S. operations…more

Promising MS treatment results from Novartis drug – Novartis AG’s once-daily FTY720 pill reduced the number of attacks suffered by patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) after three years, according to data presented on Tuesday. Nearly three-quarter of patients taking a 5 milligram dose of FTY720, and 68 percent on a 1.25 mg dose, remained free of attacks after three years, Novartis said in a statement…more

Wild new cancer therapy (no side effects?) getting a trial run – A promising new cancer treatment that may one day replace radiation and chemotherapy is edging closer to human trials. Kanzius RF therapy attaches microscopic nanoparticles to cancer cells and then “cooks” tumors inside the body with harmless radio waves. Based on technology developed by Pennsylvania inventor John Kanzius, a retired radio and TV engineer, the treatment has proven 100 percent effective at killing cancer cells while leaving neighboring healthy cells unharmed. It is currently being tested at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston…more

Migraine drug from GSK/Pozen finally cleared – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a combination migraine drug from GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Pozen Inc, the companies said on Tuesday. The two-in-one drug has faced repeated delays since Pozen sought U.S. approval in 2005. FDA officials had earlier expressed concern over heart safety and the risk of gene toxicity, asking for more data…more

Pre-emption: it’s a big deal – The Third Circuit Court of Appeals found in favor of pharma last week, stating that FDA labeling preempts any liability on the part of the drug companies. According to the decisions in two cases—Colacicco v Apotex and McNellis v Pfizer—pharma can not be held accountable for adverse events caused by drugs that were being monitored by FDA…more

Carlat’s drug rep free zone: one doctor decides to close the door – I’ve had it. As of today, I am no longer allowing drug reps into my office…more

Some docs no longer taking industry money – With little fanfare, a small number of prominent academic scientists have decided to stop accepting payments from drug and device makers for speaking at meetings or for sitting on advisory boards. And while they maintain that it’s important for for knowledgeable scientists to help companies draw up and interpret studies, any work they do will be pro bono…more

Banning drug rep gifts in Mass.: not all docs are on board – Some legislators in Massachusetts would like to make the Bay State the first to ban any gifts to doctors from drug makers, right down to pens with product logos. Docs taking as little as a pen or a slice of pizza from Big Pharma could end up paying $5,000 in fines and serving two years in jail, according to penalties contemplated by drafters of the legislation. Today comes a counterpoint from some heavy-hitting academic docs, who argue that the legislation, rather than solving problems, would be a profound threat to good medicine…more

More transparency in grant $$ spending – For years, the nation’s largest drug and medical device manufacturers have courted doctors with consulting fees, free trips to exotic locales and sponsoring the educational conferences that physicians attend. Those financial ties in most cases need not be disclosed and can lead to arrangements that some say improperly influence medical care. Now, under the threat of regulation from Congress, the two industries are promising to be more forthcoming about their spending…more

Internet vs. Sale Repswhich do doctors prefer?

And finally, how the flu travels the globe – interesting little article, but I really like the graphic!

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