The Weekly Summary

Brookfield-tulips-2015April 13th – April 19th

 In the general news, China restricted the margin ratios in stock accounts raising red flags about its markets. In Russia, hundreds of banks are at risk of closing due to the bad economy caused by the low oil prices. In the U.S., The Fed balked at raising rates in June, and Verizon became the first major cable provide to de-bundle TV packages, signaling the death of the old media business model.

In healthcare business news, JNJ reported weak earnings mostly due to the strong dollar hurting OUS sales, and also due to domestic pricing pressure on medical devices. Mylan (MYL) settled a patent suit with Pfizer (PFE) over generic Viagra, clearing the way for a generic version in 2017. Lastly, IBM is pushing its “Watson” artificial intelligence product into the healthcare market.

On the data front, AbbVie (ABBV) and Galapagos (GLPG) posted good data on the JAK-1 inhibitor filgotinib to treat arthritis. AstraZeneca’s (AZN) AZD9291 posted data on lung cancer. Merck’s (MRK) anti-PD-L1 melanoma drug Keytruda posted data showing that it also shrinks lung cancer tumors. Also, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMY) PD-1 inhibitor Opdivo showed efficacy in lung tumors.

From the FDA, Amgen’s (AMGN) Corlanor (ivabradine) was approved to treat heart failure. Novartis’ (NVS) Sandoz division was approved to sell Glatopa, a generic version of Teva’s Copaxone. A panel voted to approve Medicines (MDCO) blood thinner cangrelor for PCI. Perseon (PRSN) shares were up more than 40% after the agency approved the MicroThermX to ablate liver tumors. And in other regulatory news, congress finally repealed fix the “Medicare doctor-fix”, ending the yearly scramble to come up with a short-tem resolution.

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