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Jun 11, 2014

Amgen psoriatic arthritis drug maintains efficacy after 1 yr -study

June 11 (Reuters) – A drug being developed by Amgen Inc
for psoriatic arthritis demonstrated sustained
effectiveness after a year of treatment with no new safety
concerns, according to data from a midstage trial.

Amgen and partner AstraZeneca Plc had previously
presented 12-week data from the 168-patient trial of the biotech
drug, brodalumab, showing it to be significantly more effective
than a placebo.

Jun 2, 2014

Bristol’s Yervoy, alone or in combo, improves melanoma results-studies

June 2 (Reuters) – New data on Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s
melanoma drug Yervoy, including fresh results from an
effort to combine it with another promising cancer
immunotherapy, suggest it can improve treatment for patients
with both advanced and slightly earlier stage disease, according
to findings released on Monday.

Yervoy, which takes natural brakes off the immune system to
help it more effectively attack cancer, is approved to treat
metastatic, or stage 4, melanoma – the deadliest form of skin
cancer. Cowen and Co expects the drug to capture annual sales of
$1.95 billion by 2020, as it is approved in new indications and
combinations with other treatments.

May 31, 2014

Eli Lilly drug prolongs survival in large lung cancer trial

May 31 (Reuters) – Eli Lilly and Co’s cancer drug
ramucirumab modestly extended survival in a large, late-stage
study of patients with advanced, nonsmall cell lung cancer who
had relapsed following initial treatment, according to data
presented on Saturday.

In the 1,253-patient trial, those who received ramucirumab
and the common chemotherapy drug docetaxel on average lived for
10.5 months compared with 9.1 months for those who got only the

May 27, 2014

Pfizer walks away from $118 billion AstraZeneca takeover fight

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pfizer abandoned its attempt to buy AstraZeneca for nearly 70 billion pounds ($118 billion) on Monday as a deadline approached without a last-minute change of heart by the British drugmaker.

The decision ends a month-long public fight between two of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies that sparked political concerns on both sides of Atlantic over jobs and corporate tax maneuvers.

May 26, 2014

Pfizer walks away from $118 bln AstraZeneca takeover attempt

LONDON/NEW YORK, May 26 (Reuters) – Pfizer said on
Monday it had abandoned its current attempt to buy AstraZeneca
for nearly 70 billion pounds ($118 billion) as a
deadline approached without a last-minute change of heart by the
British drugmaker.

Pfizer had until 5.00 pm (1600 GMT) on May 26 to make a firm
offer or walk away, under UK takeover rules. Its decision to
quit the stage, at least for now, had been widely expected after
AstraZeneca refused its final offer of 55 pounds a share.

May 22, 2014

J&J sees device growth via new products, emerging markets

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Thursday it would file for approvals of more than 30 major products by the end of 2016 as it looks to restore growth to a medical device division that has been overshadowed by its drugs business.

The diversified healthcare company said it was positioned for growth through new products and would place significant focus on fast-growing emerging markets, particularly China and Russia.

May 22, 2014

J&J sees device growth through new products, emerging markets

May 22 (Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson said on
Thursday it planned to file for approvals of more than 30 major
products by the end of 2016 as the diversified healthcare
company looks to restore growth to a medical device and
diagnostics division that has been overshadowed by its drugs
business in recent years.

The company, prior to a review of the division for analysts
and investors, said its recently launched products and extensive
pipeline position it for continued growth.

May 19, 2014

Pfizer-AstraZeneca deal not quite dead yet

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc may have called its $118 billion bid for AstraZeneca Plc a “final” offer, and its British rival sees no prospect of a deal being revived. But Wall Street isn’t ready to call in the undertakers.

“The deal is wounded, but perhaps not dead,” said Mark Schoenebaum, an analyst with ISI Group in New York.

May 16, 2014

Pfizer to apply for early U.S. approval of breast cancer drug

May 16 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc, which is in the
process of trying to acquire British rival AstraZeneca
for more than $100 billion, on Friday said it planned to file
for U.S. approval for palbociclib, its experimental drug for
advanced breast cancer, in the third quarter.

The largest U.S. drugmaker said it made the decision to
submit its application to the Food and Drug Administration
following discussions with the regulatory agency about the
results of a midstage clinical trial.

May 14, 2014

Bristol, Merck, Roche immune therapies are cancer meeting focus

May 14 (Reuters) – When the world’s leading cancer doctors
meet in Chicago next month, new treatments from Merck & Co,
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Roche Holding AG that help the
immune system fight disease are expected to capture much of the

The drugs, known as anti-PD-1 or anti-PDL1 therapies, are
biotech medicines that work by blocking a tumor’s ability to
camouflage itself, thereby allowing T cells in the immune system
to recognize and attack the cancer.

    • About Bill

      "Based in New York, I primarily cover the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors as well as other publicly traded companies involved in health care. Previously covered a wide range of sports for Reuters."
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