The Weekly Summary

Germanwings-debrisMarch 23rd – March 29th

In the general news, a German passenger plane crashed in the French Alps after the mentally ill co-pilot intentionally crashed it. In the U.S., news was slow.

In healthcare business news, the biotech sector sold off as investors see the stocks being priced at bubble levels. Tenet Healthcare (THC) acquired United Surgical (owned by Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe) to combine the outpatient surgery centers. Also, JNJ partnered with Google to develop robotic surgery.

On the data front, Conatus (CNAT) posted good data on emricasan in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), sending shares up 30%. Also, Ohr Pharma’s (OHRP) eye drug OHR-102 failed in a Phase 2 trial that combined it with Roche’s Lucentis to treat AMD.

From the FDA, we traveled to the White Oak headquarters to speak with the CDER Director Janet Woodcock about the new approval pathway for biosimilars. More are on the way. Also, the agency approved Emergent BioSolutions’ (EBS) anthrax drug Anthrasil.

In other regulatory news, the White House released details of a plan to fighter “superbug” antibiotic resistant organisms. And in the congressional house, a bipartisan plan was voted on to finally fix the doctor payment shortfalls in CMS spending.

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