The Weekly Summary

Hazardous material cleaners prepare to hang black plastic outside the apartment in Dallas, Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, where Thomas Eric Duncan, the Ebola patient who traveled from Liberia to Dallas stayed last week. The family living there has been confined under armed guard while being monitored by health officials. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

September 29th – October 5th

In the general news, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong dominated the news, as another hostage was beheaded by ISIS in Syria. In the U.S., one case of Ebola created a TV-panic, and the jobless rate fell below 6% for the first time since 2008.

In healthcare business news, the Physician Payment Sunshine Act website went live. Medtronic (MDT) pledged to continue to acquire Covidien (COV) despite the Treasury removing the inversion tax incentives. JNJ acquired Alios BioPharma to obtain their HCV and RSV drug pipeline for $1.56 Billion. Lastly, Amag (AMAG) acquired women’s health product company Lumara.

On the positive data front, Puma’s (PBYI) cancer drug for lung cancer, PB272, succeeded in Phase 2. Merck’s (MRK) PD-L1 drug Keytruda met endpoints in a bladder cancer trial. Ardelyx’s (ARDX) drug tenapanor to treat opioid-induced constipation met endpoints. Portola Pharma’s (PTLA) drug andexanet alfa was effective at reversing the effects of blood thinner Eliquis. Lastly, Novo Nordisk is working on once-weekly insulin for Type-2’s.

On the failure front, Eli Lilly (LLY) cancelled its Lupus program, which benefited shares of Israel-based XTL Biopharmaceuticals Inc. Tonix Pharma’s (TNXP) pain drug TNX-102 also failed.

From the FDA, the Progenics (PGNX) and Salix (SLXP) drug Relistor was approved for a label expansion to treat opioid-induced constipation in patients with chronic non-cancer pain (i.e. addicts). Also, Ariad Pharma’s (ARIA) lung cancer drug AP26113 won breakthrough therapy status.

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