In the general news, Russia escalated the Ukraine invasion to a new level when Russian-backed terrorists downed a civilian airliner with a surface-to-air missile, killing 283 Europeans and Asians. Elsewhere, Israel invaded Gaza with tanks. In the U.S., Fed Chair Yellen said that biotech and social media stocks were a bubble. In sports, Rory McElroy won the British Open.
In healthcare business news, in addition to the comments by the Fed, the White House urged congress to act to prevent more companies from becoming European inversions, as Abbvie (ABBV) acquired Shire for $54 Billion to lower its tax rate. Earnings season began, with JNJ exceeding sales estimates, particularly in the Pharma divisions.
On the data front, Roche and partner Exelixis (EXEL) posted good data on cobimetinib (MEK inhibitor) for BRAF mutant melanoma. Also, Targacept (TRGT) canceled its stops Alzheimer’s program after TC-1734 failed.
From the FDA, Salix (SLXP), the U.S. distributor for Pharming Group, received approval for Ruconest to treat hereditary angioedema. In other regulatory news, a Manhattan pain pill mill doctor was found guilty of homicide after one of his patients overdosed. Lastly, a report by the CBO shows that spending is down for CMS, leading to six more years of solvency for the Medicare trust fund.