In the general news, Russia’s central bank almost doubled interest, and it was still not enough to calm the markets. The Russian ruble collapsed in value. In the U.S., President Obama made a surprise move to normalize relationships with Cuba. A Surgeon General was finally approved, Vivek Murthy, the youngest ever. Meanwhile, the racial unrest continued, as a lone gunman traveled to New York City and assassinated two police officers.
In healthcare business news, it was a slow week for corporate press releases and M&A. Tennessee finally moved to expand Medicaid as part of the ACA law, despite the governor being a Republican. Elsewhere, 14 people were indicted for the New England Compounding Center fungal meningitis outbreak. Lastly, Galapagos (GLPG) lost partner JNJ partner for its GPR84 inhibitor drug to treat inflammatory bowel disease.
On the good data front, Agenus (AGEN) shingles vaccine worked. Auspex Pharma (ASPX) shares spiked on good data on the Huntington’s disease chorea drug SD-809 trial. On the bad data front, Cyclacel’s (CYCC) drug to treat AML failed. Lastly, Roche’s and Immunogen’s (IMGN) drug Kadcyla to treat breast cancer failed.
From the FDA, AbbVie’s (ABBV) HCV cocktail Viekira Pak was approved with a better than expected label of 12-weeks duration of therapy. Cerus’ (CERS) Intercept Blood System was approved. Lastly, the JNJ Animas Vibe System was approved.