Rise and shine, everyone, the middle of the week has arrived. This calls for a celebratory cup of stimulation — our chosen flavor is Southern Pecan, for those keeping track — since accomplishments are always worth noting. Nonetheless, another busy day lies ahead. Another good reason to fire the neurons, yes? And so, here are a few items of interest assembled for you to peruse. Hope you have a smashing day and do keep in touch …
An FDA advisory panel narrowly voted 12-to-11 that Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim should be allowed to claim their Jardiance diabetes drug lowers the risk of cardiovascular death. Jardiance was approved in 2014 to help lower blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes, and the companies are seeking regulatory approval to claim that it also cuts the risk of death from heart attacks and strokes.
The US Food and Drug Administration’s named Dr. Richard Pazdur, its high-profile cancer drug director, as acting head of a new Oncology Center of Excellence to coordinate reviews of all cancer treatments. The move could be the first in a series of steps to reorganize the agency around disease areas. A bill moving through Congress proposes creating such centers for infectious diseases, cardiovascular health, and neurodegeneration.
Chinese patients are trying potentially hazardous methods to cure themselves of illnesses because some crucial pharmaceuticals are unavailable due the country’s lengthy approval process for foreign drugs, Bloomberg News writes. Some people cobble together pills from raw ingredients, which has spawned a vast grey market, notably for hepatitis medicines, which is proving difficult for regulators to police.
Infinity Pharmaceuticals is cutting 100 jobs, or 58 percent of its staff, after AbbVie ended a collaboration and licensing agreement to develop oncology compounds, according to this regulatory filing.
The first trial began this week over claims that a Johnson & Johnson unit used bone cement without approval in the spines of patients who died on the operating table after being injected with the compound, CVN tells us.
The European Union approved a new AstraZeneca antibiotic called Zavicefta for treating patients with serious Gram-negative bacterial infections requiring hospitalization, PharmaTimes says.
Esperion Therapeutics and the FDA failed to reach agreement on the need for a cardiovascular outcomes study for the company’s cholesterol-lowering pill, TheStreet explains.
McKesson, the pharmaceutical wholesaler, will form a health-care information-technology joint venture with an entity mostly owned by Blackstone Group, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Allergan is hunting for smaller acquisitions to boost growth after its planned $160 billion merger with Pfizer fell through this year, Bloomberg News tells us.
Novartis and Xencor reached a licensing deal on two early-stage blood-cancer treatments that could be worth up to $2.41 billion, Investor’s Business Daily writes.