Once again, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? After all, it has been busier than might be expected these last few days. In any event, this is, as you know, our signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda is modest, for now. We plan to catch up on reading, see a few friendly faces and manicure the Pharmalot campus. And what about you? How will you mark the end of the summer? Take a last minute jaunt to somewhere fabulous? Visit old friends, or maybe make new ones? Or you could shop for winter clothes. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time, but be safe. See you soon …
An experimental Alzheimer’s treatment being developed by Biogen (BIIB) was granted fast-track designation by the US Food and Drug Administration, the Wall Street Journal reports. The biotech released trial data showing its drug was given to 165 patients and it practically eradicated the amyloid plaques in brains of those given the highest dose, MIT Technology Review notes. Those plaques are widely thought to be what kills nerve cells and causes memory loss.
In response to the EpiPen controversy — the latest flap over escalating drug prices — Hillary Clinton says she would create a panel of federal officials to determine if price increases for certain drugs are justified, STAT reports. And if the panel finds price hikes were not justified, she would push to punish the manufacturer and make the treatment cheaper.
Roche (RHHBY) has rejoined the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries after a seven-year absence that began when the drug maker was suspended from the trade group for breaching industry codes, PMLive tells us. At the time, Roche was chastised for the inappropriate sale of large quantities of its Xenical diet pill to an operator of private diet clinics, and the drug maker then decided not to renew its membership.
Merck plans to discontinue developing its odanacatib osteoporosis drug and not seek regulatory approval for the treatment because it carries a higher risk of stroke, the Wall Street Journal tells us.
Roche said its Tecentriq PD-1 immunotherapy drug extended the lives of non-small cell lung cancer patients in a late-stage trial, giving the drug maker a chance to catch its rivals, Investor’s Business Daily says.
Meanwhile, Roche is merging its active substance and small-molecule drug production operations in Basel, Switzerland in a move that will cut up to 190 jobs over this year and next, Reuters reports.
A third patent on Copaxone, a multiple sclerosis drug sold by Teva Pharmaceutical was invalidated in another blow to its bid to block generic versions of a product that accounts for 20 percent of its revenue, Bloomberg News says.
A Delaware court blocked Pfizer (PFE) shareholders from access to board level documents related to the handling of some $69 billion in offshore earnings, ruling that a shareholder failed to establish a credible basis of misconduct for pursuing the action, the Delaware Business Court Insider writes.
Pfizer asked a judge to be dismissed as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by a man who claims its Chantix antismoking pill was a factor in a psychotic breakdown that led him to gouge his eyes out while in jail, MyNewsLa says.
The US Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Xinxiang Tuoxin Biochemical after finding manufacturing equipment at two facilities to be in bad shape and flying insects were in clean rooms.