October 22nd – October 28th 2018
In general news, Angela Merkel’s ruling party in Germany suffered another loss in elections as Theresa May’s ruling party also falters in Great Britain. Also, measles is spreading in Europe due to parents concerned about vaccine safety and Ebola spreads in Africa. In the U.S., a Pittsburgh synagogue was attacked by a man with an assault rifle, killing 11, and a man in Florida was arrested for mailing numerous pipe bombs to Democrats. Amidst all of that, the stock markets continue to sell off, giving up all of the gains for the year.
In healthcare business news, President Trump signed a bill that will allow private insurers to obtain drugs priced on an index relative to what other countries pay. Earnings continued with TAVR disappointing for Edwards (EW) and peripheral vascular doing well for Boston Scientific (BSX). AstraZeneca (AZN) partnered with Innate (IPH) for oncology. Also, Medtronic (MDT) founder Earl Bakken died.
On the data front, Gilead’s (GILD) Truvada for pre-exposure prophylaxis reduced new cases of HIV by a third in Australia. Pfizer (PFE) and Lilly’s (LLY) tanezumab, a nerve growth factor antibody, worked to reduce pain in osteoarthritis. Also, AbbVie’s (ABBV) JAK inhibitors upadacitinib succeeded in rheumatoid arthritis. It will compete with Pfizer’s (PFE) Xeljanz.
From the FDA, Roche’s Xofluza was approved to treat the flu.