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.
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.