Bill's Feed
Jan 31, 2014

Sanofi sues Eli Lilly over challenge to top diabetes drug Lantus

NEW YORK/PARIS (Reuters) – French drugmaker Sanofi is suing Eli Lilly and Co for alleged patent infringements concerning its top-selling Lantus diabetes treatment, delaying the U.S. firm’s plans to produce a copycat version of Lantus.

Lantus is the world’s most prescribed insulin product, with annual worldwide sales of about $7 billion, but is set to lose patent protection in the United States, the world’s largest pharmaceutical market, in February 2015.

Jan 30, 2014

PerkinElmer optimistic about 2014; EPS forecast in line

Jan 30 (Reuters) – Scientific instruments maker PerkinElmer
Inc on Thursday forecast full-year earnings in line with
current Wall Street estimates and its CEO sees a rosier 2014
after a year filled with uncertainty in the markets it serves.

The company, which also sells medical diagnostic equipment,
such as for prenatal screening, and environmental testing
products, sees full-year earnings of $2.40 to $2.45 per share,
excluding special items. Analysts on average are looking for
$2.42 per share.

Jan 29, 2014

Biogen profit rises as new multiple sclerosis drug shines

Jan 29 (Reuters) – Biogen Idec Inc said on
Wednesday its new, high-profile oral multiple sclerosis drug
Tecfidera had sales of $398 million in the fourth quarter,
easily exceeding estimates for a third successive quarter and
keeping it on track to top $1 billion in its first year on the

Some of those sales were due to U.S. inventory stocking
ahead of a 10 percent Tecfidera price increase in December.
Biogen said underlying patient demand for the drug represented
about $348 million of the U.S. sales, still ahead of analysts’
consensus expectations of about $335 million.

Jan 28, 2014

Amgen profit tops Street expectations; focus on new drugs

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Amgen Inc (AMGN.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday reported a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street forecasts, as it gained full control of its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel and saw solid growth in sales of newer products.

Amgen, the world’s biggest biotechnology company, also announced another positive result from a late-stage study of its high-profile experimental cholesterol drug, evolocumab.

Jan 28, 2014

Medivation prostate cancer drug impresses in pre-chemo study

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Medivation Inc’s drug for advanced prostate cancer significantly delayed progression of the disease and extended survival in a large, late stage study of patients who had not yet received chemotherapy, likely paving the way for an expanded approval of the medicine.

Xtandi, a pill known chemically as enzalutamide, is already approved to treat patients whose prostate cancer has spread and who had previously been treated with chemotherapy.

Jan 23, 2014

Intuitive Surgical sees fewer da Vinci robot sales in 2014

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – Intuitive Surgical Inc (ISRG.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Thursday said it expects to sell fewer of its high-priced da Vinci surgical robot systems in 2014 than last year and diverged from past practice by not providing a revenue forecast for the year.

The company said it would issue a revenue forecast later in the year when it has a clearer view of business trends, such as da Vinci use for benign gynecology surgeries, which has been slowing in the United States, and whether it secures reimbursements for procedures in Japan in addition to prostate surgeries.

Jan 23, 2014

Amgen cholesterol drug meets goal of 3rd late stage trial

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – A cholesterol fighter developed by Amgen Inc from a highly promising new class of medicines significantly lowered levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in a late stage trial in patients unable to tolerate statin drugs, the company said on Thursday.

The results marked the third successful Phase III test of the drug evolocumab reported by Amgen in recent months – this one in a patient population among the most in need of alternative therapies.

Jan 17, 2014

U.S. FDA approves Medtronic heart valve system early

Jan 17 (Reuters) – Medtronic Inc’s minimally
invasive system for replacing diseased heart valves won U.S.
approval for use in patients deemed too frail to endure
traditional open heart surgery, the U.S. medical device maker
said on Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Medtronic’s
CoreValve system based on U.S. clinical trials in which it was
shown to be safe and effective while demonstrating low rates of
stroke and valve leakage, the company said.

Jan 14, 2014

Teva did not infringe OxyContin patents, shares rise

By Jonathan Stempel and Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – A federal judge said Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd did not infringe five patents related to the painkiller OxyContin, helping push shares of the world’s largest generic drug manufacturer up 6.7 percent on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Teva executives said at a JPMorgan healthcare conference that they were confident a new version of its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone that requires less frequent dosing will soon win regulatory approval for use in the United States.

Jan 14, 2014

Teva sees U.S. approval of three times weekly Copaxone soon

Jan 14 (Reuters) – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
said on Tuesday it is “completely confident” the new
version of its flagship multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone, which
features less frequent dosing, will be approved in the United
States in the near future.

The Israel-based company said it believes it will be able to
get 45 percent of regular Copaxone patients to switch to the new
drug, which is injected three times a week instead of daily.

    • 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."
    • Follow Bill