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Hello, everyone, and welcome to another busy day. This is the middle of the week, after all. As for us, we are quaffing cups of stimulation to stay focused as we bid adieu to two of our short people, who are returning to their busy lives elsewhere after an enjoyable holiday break here at the Pharmalot campus. We will miss them. Now, though, time to get cracking. Here is the usual slew of tidbits. Have a great day and keep in touch …

Valeant Pharmaceuticals plans to appoint a new chief executive while Michael Pearson remains hospitalized, The Wall Street Journal reports. For the moment, it is not clear whether the change would be permanent or temporary. The possible candidates who may replace Pearson include Howard Schiller, a Valeant director who resigned as chief financial officer last year, and Robert Rosiello, who replaced him.

Editas Medicine filed documents to sell stock publicly for the first time, underscoring the fascination with the CRISPR gene-editing technique, but the move also cast a spotlight on a simmering patent battle, STAT tells us. Expect to see “some heated litigation,” said Jacob Sherkow of New York Law School. The stock sale is also likely to raise prematurely raise patient hopes for new cures as CRISPR advances are reported from labs.


Eli Lilly claims that its new Jardiance diabetes medicine is winning market share from rival drugs in its class, Reuters reports. The drug maker cited clinical trial data showing Jardiance reduced deaths by 32 percent in patients with type 2 diabetes. Results from a three-year study released last summer demonstrated Jardiance was the first diabetes therapy to show an ability to reduce cardiovascular death.

Roche and the UK Department of Health formed a “ground-breaking pact” to determine whether an arthritis biologic can be used as an effective treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension, Pharma Times says.


The US Senate health committee votes Tuesday on whether Dr. Robert Califf should be the next Food and Drug Administration commissioner, The Hill reminds us.

Gilead Sciences says an experimental drug aimed at people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which is a deadly lung-scarring disease, failed a mid-stage trial, The San Francisco Business Times writes.

An analysis of 250,000 patients shows that angiotension receptor blockers, or ARBs, may be as effective and safe in treating high blood pressure as older angiotensin converting enzyme, or ACE inhibitors, The Washington Post says.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Oncodesign struck a deal to discover, develop, and commercialize novel compounds for combating cancer and other serious illnesses, Pharma Times tells us.

India’s central drug regulator imposed a temporary ban on online sales of pharmaceuticals in advance of a final regulation, The Economic Times writes.