In the general news, the Swiss allowed the free market to take over the valuation of their franc currency and it soared 30% in valuation. Russians and others seeking a safer currency were the buyers. In Western Europe, raids in many countries took down terrorist cells in Muslim communities. In sports, the Ohio State Buckeyes beat Oregon to win the first college football playoff championship.
In Healthcare business news, The JP Morgan conference triggered the usual wave of press releases. Shire (SHIRE) acquired NPS Pharma (NPSP), after itself was not acquired when Abbvie (ABBV) backed out. Roche acquired Foundation Medicine (FMI), doubling shares. Tekmira (TKMR) bought Onco Biopharma. Regado (RGDO) merged with Tobira Therapeutics (TBRA) to create a larger effort in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Intrexon (XON) partnered with Ziopharm (ZIOP). Lastly, JNJ partnered with AC Immune to develop anti-tau vaccines to treat Alzheimer’s.
From the FDA, EnteroMedics (ETRM) receives approval for weight loss “vagal blocking” device. AbbVie’s (ABBV) Parkinson’s drug Duopa was approved. Lastly, Arrowhead’s (ARWR) Hepatitis B drug trials were placed on hold.