In general news, The UK Parliament rejected the Prime Minster’s plans to attack Syria in response to the use of nerve gas. In the U.S., President Obama then backed down from imminent attacks, instead putting the matter up to a congressional vote. In the markets, August saw the worst performance in a year.
In healthcare business news, Endo Health Solutions (ENDP) acquired generics company Boca Pharma for $225 Million, and ophthalmology company Akorn (AKRX) acquired rival Hi-Tech Pharmacal for $640 Million.
On the data front, Rigel (RIGL) imploded on bad Phase 2 data for R343 to treat asthma. Isis (ISIS) posted good data on ISIS-APOCIIIRx to treat certain types of very elevated cholesterol. Astex (ASTX) shares spike 25% on Phase 2 data of SGI-110 to treat AML. Daiichi Sankyo’s edoxaban was noninferior to warfarin in treating DVTs. Novartis‘ serelaxin posted good data in heart failure. Lastly, Teva cancelled the depression program after Nuvigil failed in another Phase 3.
From the FDA, Catalyst Pharma (CPRX) gained Breakthrough status for Firdapse to treat Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS). BioMarin (BMRN) is a partner in development. Bayer and Onyx (ONXX) gained priority review for Nexavar to treat thyroid cancer. Amgen recently acquired ONXX. In California, where Amgen is based, lobbyists persuaded the state legislature to pass a law restricting biosimilars. Lastly, the agency warned that Novartis’ MS drug Gilenya can trigger PML.