In the general news, Iraqi forces were criticized by the Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, for “lacking the will to fight” after they allowed ISIS to take the city of Ramadi. In the U.S., The Patriot Act and the provision allowing the NSA to collect bulk phone records on U.S. Citizens expired and was not renewed due to a filibuster by Senator Rand Paul.
In healthcare business news, CVS Health Corp. (CVS) moved to acquire Omnicare (OCR) for $10 Billion. Achillion (ACHN) partnered with JNJ on HCV drug development. Lastly, late-reporting Medtronic (MDT) posted good numbers.
On the data front, Edwards (EW) stopped clinical development of their current minimally invasive mitral valve. One-year data on the third-generation Sapien aortic valve was promising. Bluebird’s (BLUE) gene therapy LentiGlobin, to treat beta-thalassemia major and severe sickle cell disease, posted more promising data. Lastly, Otonomy’s (OTIC) ear drug OTO-104 to treat Ménière’s disease failed.
From the FDA, AbbVie’s (ABBV) venetoclax to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) was granted “Breakthrough” status, as was Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMY) declatasvir combined with Gilead’s Harvoni (sofosbuvir) to treat HCV. Sarepta (SRPT) announced that the FDA finally agreed to a re-filing plan for troubled drug eteplirsen, sending shares higher. Lastly, the House approved a bill that would speed drug development at the FDA.