The Weekly Summary

BernankeDecember 16th – December 22nd

In the general news, a federal judge ruled that the NSA spying was likely unconstitutional at the same time the White House-commissioned review recommended changes. With the economy, the Fed finally began the tapering of the bond buying “free money” era. In Wall Street, SAC capital analyst Michael Steinberg was found guilty of criminal insider trading.

In healthcare business news, Jazz Pharma (JAZZ) acquired orphan drug maker Gentium (GENT) for $1 B. Endo Health (ENDP) acquired Nupathe (PATH) for migraine drug Zecuity. Ariad (ARIA) resumed sales of Iclusig. UCSF Chancellor, and the person who developed Avastin at Genentech, Sue Desmond-Hellmann, left to run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A South Korean company was allowed to launch a generic version of AstraZeneca’s (AZN) Nexium. Lastly, Glaxo (GSK) announced that it will no longer pay doctors to promote drugs.

On the data front, Gilead (GILD) posted more stellar data on a combo regimen of newly approved Solvadi and the NS5A inhibitor ledipasvir. Amgen (AMGN) released data on cholesterol lowering antibody AMG-145 (inhibitor of PCSK9). Lastly, Vertex’s (VRTX) Kalydeco failed in a trial of patients with the rare R117H gene mutation.

From the FDA, a UTHR received a highly surprising approval for Orenitram (treprostinil). The GSK and Theravance (THRX) CPOD drug Anoro Ellipta was approved. Lastly, ADHD drugs attention for a new safety concern.

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