And so, another working week is about to draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, as they say. This is, you may recall, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda is particularly modest this time around. We plan to manicure the Pharmalot campus grounds and spend time with our short person. And what about you? The US Treasury went after Pfizer (PFE), so perhaps this is a good time to get your taxes ready. You could also tidy up around your own castle or simply stop to catch your breath. Life is short, yes? Well, whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. See you soon …
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended the agency approve an Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) medicine to treat a rare liver condition known as primary biliary cirrhosis, the Wall Street Journal says. The company also plans to seek FDA approval to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, a more common liver disease. If that happens, Wall Street believes the drug could eventually generate $6.5 billion in annual sales.
A Massachusetts state senator who sponsored a bill to impose price caps on prescription drugs says supporters are open to alternatives to controlling costs, the Boston Globe writes. The bill is similar to legislation introduced in other states — and contained in the latest White House budget — to require drug makers to justify prices by disclosing their spending on R&D, among other expenses.
AstraZeneca (AZN) and Eli Lilly will continue a clinical trial for an Alzheimer’s drug now that initial human testing showed the drug didn’t produce harmful side effects, the Wall Street Journal tells us. The drug is a so-called BACE inhibitor, a new class of treatments that the pharmaceutical industry hopes can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s by thwarting buildup of amyloid in the brain, which is believed to be the main cause of the disease.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals won a reprieve from lenders who agreed to give the drug maker an extra month to file its annual report, Reuters writes. The extension serves as a relief valve if Valeant is unable to file its annual report by the April 29 deadline, which it continues to insist it will meet. Valeant risked defaulting on $30 billion in debt if the April 29 deadline is missed and already blew past its original March 15 deadline.
A Texas federal jury cleared Abbott Laboratories (ABT) of improperly promoting bile-duct stents for off-label uses, a charge that was made in a whistleblower lawsuit that sought $219 million in damages.
IBM and Pfizer are collaborating to develop remote monitoring technology for treating Parkinson’s disease, according to MedCity News.
European regulators endorsed two additional uses for the Opdivo medication from Bristol-Myers Squibb, which can now market the drug to treat lung and kidney cancer, PM Live reports.