In the general news, The U.S. attempted to free two reporters held hostage in Yemen, but the raid failed and the hostages were killed. In Russia, their economy slipped into a depression as oil prices sink and the American sanctions have an impact. In the U.S., the economy is booming, with 321,000 jobs added in November. Lastly, NASA launched the Orion: the first spacecraft meant to go beyond earth orbit since the Apollo rickets 40 years ago.
In healthcare business news, Medtronic (MDT) will raise $17 B needed for the Covidien merger by selling corporate bonds. Merck (MRK) might acquire Cubist (CBST) for $7 B. Lastly, Avanir (AVNR) will be acquired by Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceutical for $3.5 B.
On the data front, Biogen Idec’s (BIIB) BIIB037 will continue into Phase 3 trials for Alzheimer’s. MRK‘s immunotherapy drug Keytruda posted good data in lymphoma. Lastly, BMY‘s drug nivolumab also showed good efficacy in lymphoma.
From the FDA, Amgen’s (AMGN) Blincyto was approved. Incyte’s (INCY) Jakafi was approved for hydroxyurea refractory PV, and a panel gave thumbs up for Actavis’ (ACT) antibiotic ceftazidime-avibactam.