The Weekly Summary

BubbaApril 7th – April 13th

In the general news, the most prominent journalists reporting on the Ed Snowden NSA spying scandal were allowed to return to The United States. Also, the HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, finally “resigned”. In sports, Bubba Watson won the Masters golf tournament again, defeating 20-yo Jordan Spieth.

In healthcare business news, Mallinckrodt (MNK) acquired Questor for $5.6 Billion. Kicking off earnings season, Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) pre-announced and lowered revenue estimates.

On the data front, data from the EASL dominated the news, with Merck’s (MRK) HCV drugs (MK-5172 and MK-8742) posted strong results, sending shares of GILD down. Also hurting GILD were more essays in the NEJM about the high cost of Sovaldi. Intercept’s (ICPT) drug obeticholic acid was also effective in primary biliary cirrhosis. In cancer, the Puma (PUMA) drug neratinib was better than Herceptin in HER2 patients. Alkermes’ (ALKS) schizophrenia drug aripiprazole lauroxil met endpoints. Boston Scientific’s (BSX) registry data on their S-ICD was positive. Lastly, spine stimulation device somehow allowed all paraplegics in a small study to begin to move their legs again, using their own brain, bypassing the spinal lesion.

From the FDA, MannKind’s (MNKD) Afrezza was set back by a 3-month delay in the PDUFA date. Also, Celladon’s (CLDN) gene therapy “drug” Mydicare for CHF received Breakthrough status.

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