In general news, this was President Trump’s week. His State of the Union speech amazed even his strongest critics, with many calling it “presidential”. His proposed budget calls for a boost in military spending offset by cuts to other agencies. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pressured into recusing himself from investigations into the role of Russian meddling in the election. Then, fed up with the attacks by the press leaked by Obama operatives, President Trump hit back, tweeting the very serious allegation that Obama’s crew had his campaign phones wiretapped, triggering a serious of carefully worded denials from Obama. Meanwhile, the Dow broke new all-time records, surpassing 21,000.
In healthcare business news, Valeant (VRX) reported 13% lower revenue caused by drug price reductions. Also, shares fell when it was announced that the SEC is looking into Valeant’s subsidiary Salix for cooking the books. Also, Perrigo (PRGO) sold the revenue stream from Tysabri to Royalty Pharma (RPX) for $2.85 B.
On the data front, Kite Pharma’s (KITE) CAR-T cell therapy met endpoints in treating aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Recall, Juno’s CAR-T suffered from clinical trial deaths halting the program, and Bluebird Bio (BLUE) posted positive results on their own CAR-T trial. La Jolla’s (LJPC) shares spiked when LJPC-501 to treat septic shock met endpoints. Roche’s cocktail of Perjeta with Herceptin and chemotherapy after surgery for breast cancer met endpoints. BioCryst (BCRX) drug BCX7353 to treat hereditary angioedema met endpoints. Aurinia Pharmaceuticals (AUPH) shares spiked when voclosporin to treat lupus nephritis posted clean safety. Finally, Nestle SA-backed Accera’s Alzheimer’s drug failed.
From the FDA, Catalent’s (CTLT) and Merck’s (MRK) Odactra to treat house mite dust allergies was approved.