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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the middle of the week. This marks a small milestone, if only because you made it this far. So why not continue, yes? After all, consider the alternatives. This calls for a celebration, so please join us for a cup or two of stimulation. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits to get you going, since the middle of the week is usually such a busy time. Hope you have a smashing day and do stay in touch …

Will the US Senate vote to confirm Dr. Robert Califf as the next Food and Drug Administration commissioner? After months of concerns about his ties to the pharmaceutical industry, his involvement in a controversial clinical trial of the Xarelto blood thinner, and anger expressed by some senators over FDA policy toward opioids, a vote will be held Wednesday morning. And you can watch the proceedings right here.

Kyle Bass, who angered the pharmaceutical industry by challenging many patents, has returned most of the $700 million he raised last year for his high-profile campaign, The Financial Times reports. His firm, Hayman Capital Management, saw more than half of its patent challenges tossed before getting a hearing at the US Patent and Trademark Office. Now, about only $80 million remains of the funds used to short drug stocks.


After Valeant Pharmaceuticals disclosed it improperly booked $58 million in revenue, some investors were relieved, but others have less confidence in the drug maker, The Wall Street Journal tells us. Caution is key, according to one Wall Streeter. “We believe that these types of issues will continue to undermine investor confidence at a time when it is still fragile,” wrote BMO Nesbitt Burns analyst Alex Arfaei in an investor note.

Sanofi is poised to terminate its marketing deal for the Auvi-Q allergy med after manufacturing issues last year prompted a complete recall of the epinephrine injection product, InPharma Technologist writes.


Sandoz is voluntarily recalling 277,267 bottles of high blood pressure tablets that were manufactured by Mylan in India, according to this FDA enforcement report.

The world’s first fast-acting rabies drug, which instantly deactivates the virus to provide immediate protection from severe dog bites, is set for launch in India this year, The Economic Times tells us.

Eli Lilly won European Commission approval for its Portrazza as a first-line treatment for adults with non-small cell lung cancer, PM Live writes.

Anadys Pharmaceuticals, a Roche subsidiary, obtained a patent in India for a hepatitis C treatment, ahead of achieving the same goal in Europe, according to TwoFourInsight.

Sanofi Pasteur made its dengue fever vaccine available in the Philippines, the first country where the product will be widely available, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence approved Merck’s Ezetrol as a monotherapy to treat adults with high cholesterol, Pharma Times reports.

Amgen agreed to pay up to $75 million to buy exclusive rights to a select group of Unilife’s wearable injectors, according to MedCity News.