The Weekly Summary

April 16th – April 22nd                                 2018

In general news, North Korea announced that it would cease testing of missiles and nuclear weapons ahead of the talks with the US. Japan’s Prime Minister Abe visited President Trump and played golf, as he faces threats to his power back in Japan. In politics, two different oversight agencies sent criminal referrals recommending that the Obama-appointed teams at the DOJ and FBI, as well as Hillary Clinton, be prosecuted. Meanwhile, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein ordered the US Attorney in New York to raid the offices of Trump’s lawyer, and a federal judge will likely assign a Special Master to control the use of the evidence.

In healthcare business news, JNJ beat earnings estimates. Allergan (AGN) created drama by bidding for Shire (SHPG), then retracting the bid a day later. Also, Amazon (AMZN) scrapped plans to sell prescription drugs, sending shares of CVS, WBA, CAH, MCK, and ABC higher.

On the data front, Merck’s (MRK) Keytruda continued to outperform Bristol-Meyers’ (BMY) Opdivo in lung cancer. Also, Amgen’s (AMGN) Aimovig met endpoints in a migraine trial.

From the FDA, Commissioner Gottlieb made comments about the drug industry stifling cheaper generic drugs. Ultragenyx’s (RARE) orphan drug Crysvita to treat rickets was approved. Finally, a panel recommended approval for GW Pharma’s Epidiolex, a cannabis-based drug to treat seizures.

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