In the general news, President Obama made his first move after the big loss in the election by signing an order of amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. Critics called it unconstitutional. In response, the Republican House sued the Obama administration in civil court of the selective enforcement of the ACA law. In the weather, record amounts of snow crushed buildings in Buffalo, NY.
In healthcare business news, Actavis (ACT) ended up acquiring Allergan (AGN) instead of Valeant (VRX), for $66 Billion. Private company Royalty Pharma acquired royalty on the drugs from Vertex (VRX) for $7.2 B. In court, JNJ is seeking $7.2 Billion from Boston Scientific (BSX) related to the Guidant-JNJ merge that fell apart in 2006. Lastly, Pfizer (PFE) formed a $2.9 B immuno-oncology partnership with Merck KGaA (not MRK).
On the data front, the Merck (MRK) study on Vytorin showed a survival advantage to lowering LDL in patients with previous MI’s, leading many to want the LDL target to be revived. Recall, the cardiology societies dropped LDL as a target of therapy last year. Also, Regeneron’s (REGN) and Sanofi’s PCSK9 drug alirocumab also showed efficacy. In devices, the St. Jude (STJ) CardioMEMS device reduced hospitalizations. Celldex (CLDX) posted Phase 2 data on rindopepimut. Lastly, Sunesis (SNSS) presented Phase 3 data on the VALOR trial of vosaroxin and cytarabine in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
News from the FDA was slow this week.