In the general news, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned after a long week of bad news about VA mishandling of care. In the economy, the GDP shrank month-over-month for the first time since 2011.
In healthcare business news Nestle agreed to buy the North American rights to Valeant’s (VRX) Restylane, Sculptra, and other skin care, as Valeant simultaneously is trying to acquire Allergan, which sells Botox and Juvederm. Also, rumors were squelched that Stryker (SYK) wanted to buy Smith&Nephew (SNN), using overseas cash.
On the data front, ASCO dominated, with immunotherapies still the main class of interest. Roche’s MPDL3280A (an anti-PDL1) posted good data in bladder cancer, as did JNJ and Pharmacyclics (PCYC) drug Imbruvica for leukemia, and Eli Lilly’s (LLY) drug ramucirumab for lung cancer. Drug costs were an issue during plenary sessions as well. Other than cancer news, BioCrysts’s (BCRX) drug to treat hereditary angioedema (HAE) posted good results.
From the FDA, St Jude’s (STJ) CarrdioMEMs device was approved. Lastly, the FDA warned that drugs prices were too high.