September 15th – September 21st
In the general news, Scotland voted to stay within the United Kingdom government rather then secede. The U.S. will send more troops to Iraq to battle ISIS, as well as do air strikes within Syria. Back at home, the number of people without healthcare insurance fell by 8% as the ACA (Obamacare) kicks in, and NASA awarded contracts to carry humans into space to Elon Musk’s SpaceX as well as Boeing. In sports, the NFL domestic abuse scandals dominated the regular non-sporting news. Lastly, Alibaba (BABA) went public as the largest IPO ever.
In healthcare business news, Swiss conglomerate Danaher (DHR) acquired Nobel Biocare to expand its dental business. Insulet (PODD) named a new CEO. Auxilium (AUXL) accepted the acquisition bid from QLT (QLTI). Boehringer partnered with CureVac for a cancer vaccine program. ReWalk began trading as ticker RWLK. Lastly, Gilead (GILD) agreed to sell cheaper generic versions of Sovaldi in poorer countries.
On the data front, Avanir’s (AVNR) drug to treat agitation caused by Alzheimer’s met endpoints, sending shares up 63%. Gilead’s (GILD) pancreatic cancer drug simtuzumab failed. Lastly, Novo Nordisk’s long-acting insulin Triseba worked.
From the FDA, the AstraZeneca (AZN) and Nektar (NKTR) opioid-induced constipation drug Movantik was approved. Regeneron (REGN) won Breakthrough status for the diabetic retinopathy indication they seek for Eylea. Novo’s liraglutide won a panel OK to add weight reduction to the label. Eli Lilly’s (LLY) Trulicity was approved to treat Type 2 diabetes. A panel voted to restrict the labels for testosterone drugs, such as Androgel and Axiron, to not include loss of libido and energy, in order to reduce the number of TV ads and marketing. Lastly, a White House panel called for a task force to study the impact of the overuse of antibiotics in animals.