In the general news, two western journalists were shot by an Afghanistan police officer, killing one. In the U.S., author Michael Lewis dominated the news by giving “60Minutes” an exclusive on his new book about how high speed trading that “rigs the market”, prompting the FBI to investigate. On the markets, a good March jobs number increased the chance that the Fed would raise interest rates, spooking traders (i.e. computer algorithms).
In healthcare business news, IMS Health (IMS) raised $1.3 Billion in an IPO. Cardinal Health (CAH) diversified further into medical devices with an acquisition of AccessClosure for $320M. Lastly, Rite Aid (RAD) acquired Health Dialog Services Corporation, a leading provider of health coaching.
On the data front, Novartis’ (NVS) Angiotensin Receptor Neprilysin Inhibitor trial was stopped early, ostensibly due to exceptional efficacy. Medtronic (MDT) posted good data on drug coated balloons for the peripheral vessels. Also, bariatric surgery was shown to reverse diabetes.
From the FDA, MannKind’s (MNKD) inhaled insulin Afrezza won approval from the advisory committee, sending shares up 80%. Two antibiotics were advanced when committees voted in favor of Cubist’s (CBST) tedizolid and Durata Therapeutics’ (DRTX) dalbavancin, and Curis (CRIS) was allowed to resume trials on CUDC-427 for breast cancer.