In general news, NSA leaker Ed Snowden resurfaced in Moscow publicly asking for asylum, once again. A Boeing 777 flown by inexperience Asiana Airlines pilots crashed in San Francisco, garnering far more media attention than it deserved. In Quebec, an entire small town was vaporized when a train of oil tankers was tampered with and exploded. The George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial ended in acquittal of Zimmerman. Lastly, the U.S. had a budget surplus last month, for the first time in years, as the Fed’s QE seems more likely to taper this year.
In healthcare business news, Roche is rumored to be eyeing Alexion (ALXN) as an acquisition. Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) imploded 20% after announcing weaker than expected revenue, boding poorly for other device makers as earnings season kicks off next week. WebMD (WBMD) shares spiked on news of profitability. In Europe, Edwards (EW) won a small patent victory over Medtronic (MDT) relating to CoreValve.
On the data front, Eli Lilly (LLY) plans more large Phase 3 trial of drug solanezumab to treat Alzheimer’s despite previous failures. This time, new pre-Alzheimer’s imaging markers might allow for more accomplishable endpoints. The imaging agent Amyvid will prescreen the enrollees. Roche abandoned diabetes drug aleglitazar. Alnylam (ALNY) stock went up on Phase 1 data gene-therapy data of subcutaneously administered version of the drug, ALN-TTR, to treat genetic disorder amyloidosis. Novartis’ (NVS) psoriasis drug secukinumab was superior to Amgen’s Enbrel. Lastly, ADHD drugs were shown in one study to not help boost test scores for students, contrary to popular belief.
From the FDA, Boehringer’s lung cancer drug Gilotrif was approved, along with a genetic EGFR companion test made by Qiagen (QGEN).
In other regulatory news, China began arresting Glaxo (GSK) employees over bribery charges. In the US, a New Jersey cardiologist was sent to prison for kickbacks, and the former CEO of prestigious Hospital for Special Surgery pleaded guilty to illegal payments as well.