(Reuters) – Gilead Sciences Inc on Thursday said almost all patients taking a fixed-dose combination of two of its experimental hepatitis C drugs appeared to have eliminated the liver virus after either eight weeks or 12 weeks of treatment in a small mid-stage study.
The data should strengthen the widely held perception that Gilead is leading the race among many companies to bring to market a highly curative, all-oral regimen with shorter treatment durations for the serious liver disease. Gilead shares rose 5 percent after the data was released.
By Bill Berkrot
(Reuters) – Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc on Tuesday increased by $20 million the 2013 forecast for sales of its cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco, and said it anticipates seeking approval in 2014 of a CF combination therapy that has become a focus for investors.
The new cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco had sales of $61.8 million, up from $58.5 million in the previous quarter. The company now expects 2013 Kalydeco sales of $300 million to $340 million, up from its prior view of $280 million to $320 million.
April 29 (Reuters) – Express Scripts Holding Co on
Monday reported higher-than-expected first-quarter earnings,
helped by greater use of more profitable generic medicines, and
the pharmacy benefit manager raised its full-year forecast.
Express said it expects improvements in gross profit over the
remainder of the year and now sees full-year adjusted earnings
of $4.23 to $4.33 per share, up from its prior outlook of $4.20
to $4.30 per share. Its shares rose 1.5 percent in after-hours
April 25 (Reuters) – PerkinElmer Inc on Thursday
reported lower-than-expected first-quarter profit and decreased
its full-year forecast as difficult economic conditions and a
stronger dollar hurt sales in Europe and Japan.
Investors used to PerkinElmer beating earnings expectations
and incrementally raising forecasts over the course of the year
punished the stock, sending it down 13 percent.
By Bill Berkrot
(Reuters) – Biogen Idec Inc (BIIB.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported higher-than-expected first quarter profit on Thursday and raised its full year forecasts, and the U.S. biotechnology said it sees its new drug Tecfidera becoming the leading oral medicine for multiple sclerosis.
Biogen management declined to give any sales details from Tecfidera’s first few weeks on the market, but Chief Executive George Scangos called the March 27 U.S. approval “a watershed event for our company.”
April 24 (Reuters) – Laboratory equipment maker Thermo
Fisher Scientific Inc, which this month agreed to
acquire Life Technologies Inc for more than $13
billion, on Wednesday reported a higher-than-expected
first-quarter profit, helped by a 10 percent rise in specialty
Excluding one-time items, Thermo Fisher posted earnings of
$1.37 per share, topping analysts average expectations by 8
cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
April 23 (Reuters) – Amgen Inc on Tuesday reported
first-quarter sales that fell short of Wall Street expectations
for most of its biggest-selling medicines, and its shares fell
more than 6 percent.
Revenue for the quarter rose 5 percent to $4.24 billion, but
was shy of Wall Street expectations of $4.37 billion.
(Reuters) – A combination of five oral drugs being tested by AbbVie Inc cured at least 88 percent of new patients with hepatitis C after only eight weeks of treatment, without raising significant safety issues, researchers said on Tuesday.
The latest findings from an ongoing trial sponsored by AbbVie, called Aviator, also showed that 96 percent of patients taking the five medicines for 12 weeks eliminated the virus, as assessed by blood tests 24 weeks after they stopped treatment.
By Bill Berkrot
(Reuters) – A combination of three experimental Bristol-Myers Squibb hepatitis C drugs appeared to be highly effective, according to data from a mid-stage clinical trial, keeping the company in the race for developing an all-oral treatment regimen for the serious liver disease.
The combination therapy, which involves three direct acting antiviral drugs that each attack different targets needed for replication of the hepatitis virus, achieved cure rates as high as 94 percent when given for either 12 weeks or 24 weeks, according to results of the small study.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – As the clock ticks down to the start of a U.S. healthcare overhaul, companies from device makers to hospital chains have been surprised to see Americans make even fewer trips to the doctor’s office.
Use of non-emergency medical services has been weak for several years in the wake of a deep recession, high joblessness and the steadily rising cost of care.