The Weekly Summary

snow-on-bushes-3-20-2015March 16th – March 22nd

In the general news, U.S.-Iran nuclear arms negotiations proceeded after the Israeli elections. In the U.S., The Fed dropped the “patience” wording indicating a 2015 rate hike. In weather, the first day of Spring was met by a snow storm in the Northeast, capping off a brutal winter.

In healthcare business news, Valeant (VRX) won the bidding war for Salix (SLXP), beating out Endo (ENDP). Merck KGaA chose a new CEO, and Lilly (LLY) partnered with Chinese drug maker Innovent Biologics to develop cancer drugs.

On the data front, Biogen’s (BIIB) long-awaited Alzheimer’s data on drug aducanumab was fully released and did not disappoint investors. The drug appears to slow cognitive decline while also not triggering encephalitis as previous antibodies have done. From the ACC, the Medtronic (MDT) 2-year CoreValve data looked promising compared to traditional open-chest surgical repair. Also, Esperion’s (ESPR) cholesterol drug ETC-1002 succeeded in early trials. ETC-1002 is a new class of drug called ACL inhibitors.

From the FDA, Boston Scientific’s (BSX) next-generation S-ICD was approved.

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