Hello, everyone, and how are you today? The middle of the week has arrived, and this is cause for celebration. You made it this far, so why not? After all, consider the alternatives. So please join us as we down another delicious cup of stimulation — Cinnamon Dolce is a favorite this week. Remember, no prescription is required. Meanwhile, here is the usual menu of interesting items to help you moving. Hope you have a smashing day …
The Food and Drug Administration approved Roche’s new Tecentriq immunotherapy as a second-line lung cancer treatment, which is likely to add further pressure on Bristol-Myers Squibb in the fast-growing market, Reuters notes. The medication is approved for non-small cell lung cancer patients who were previously treated with chemotherapy, regardless of whether their tumors express a protein called PD-L1.
Despite bashing the biopharma industry several times over the past year, Hillary Clinton garnered support from nearly two-thirds of 105 biotech executives surveyed in a poll by Endpoints. Only 10 percent preferred Donald Trump and the rest were indifferent. Meanwhile, health care stocks have been sliding this year and are on pace for the first yearly decline since the bull market began in 2009, Bloomberg News notes.
The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is considering recommending that physicians not discuss sex when advocating that youngsters are given an HPV vaccine, the Wall Street Journal reports. The committee may also change the guidelines to reduce the number of shots — from three to two — that are needed in younger people for HPV immunization. The committee is expected to vote this week.
Pharma contributions to Washington may be keeping drug prices high, FairWarning writes. Since 2003, drug makers gave $147.5 million in federal political contributions to presidential and congressional candidates, party committees, leadership PACs, and other political advocacy groups. Of that, 62 percent has gone to Republican or conservative causes. In all, 518 members of the current Congress — every Senate member and more than 95 percent of the House — received industry money since 2003.
Sandoz filed a citizen’s petition with the FDA seeking to block other generic versions of the Advair asthma medication sold by GlaxoSmithKline. Sandoz, which is the generic unit of Novartis, is “actually pretty smart,” writes Sanford Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal in an investor note. “It relies on Sandoz’s own studies to argue patient safety requires a higher proof bar.”
Vertex Pharmaceuticals is trying to avoid repeating a mistake: diversifying into new areas without losing its key franchise, Xconomy writes. The drug maker watched its early lead on the lucrative hepatitis C market evaporate after Gilead Sciences paid $11 billion for Pharmasset and the groundbreaking Sovaldi treatment. Now, Vertex is hoping to build on its successful lead in cystic fibrosis before competition eats away at its market position.
Eli Lilly is launching a $90 million program to improve access to treatments for diabetes, cancer, and tuberculosis for an estimated 30 million people in impoverished countries. The five-year investment, called Lilly 30×30, will go to Brazil, China, India, Russia, Mexico, Kenya and South Africa. The drug maker will use $45 million of company funds and $45 million from the Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation to reach its goals by 2030.
Pfizer was awarded a grant for an undisclosed amount of money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of its vaccine candidate for combating group B Streptococcus infection.
The European Commission approved a Shire drug called Onivyde to treat pancreatic cancer, making it the first licensed drug for this patient group in Europe, PMLive says.