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Dec 5, 2012

With Teva at crossroads, new CEO set to unveil vision

NEW YORK/TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ new Chief Executive Jeremy Levin has promised investors it will be a very different company going forward. Next week he has to prove it.

Levin’s ability to paint a bright future for the world’s biggest maker of generic drugs at a meeting with investors and analysts on December 11 in New York became a bit more difficult last week, when Teva issued a 2013 earnings forecast that fell short of Wall Street estimates.

Nov 27, 2012

Acadia antipsychotic for Parkinson’s succeeds in trial

Nov 27 (Reuters) – An antipsychotic drug for Parkinson’s
disease patients being developed by Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc
succeeded in meeting the primary goal and key secondary
goals of a pivotal late stage clinical trial, the company said
on Tuesday.

Acadia shares more than doubled after the company released
initial, or top line, results from the 199-patient Phase III
trial of pimavanserin that showed the drug was significantly
better than placebo at reducing psychotic effects of Parkinson’s
disease psychosis.

Nov 20, 2012

Pfizer, Bristol get EU nod for blood clot preventer

Nov 20 (Reuters) – European health regulators on Tuesday
approved an eagerly anticipated blood thinner developed by
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Pfizer Inc for the
prevention of strokes and blood clots in patients who have an
irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, the companies
said.

The drug Eliquis, also known as apixaban, is widely
considered one of the most important new products for the two
U.S. drugmakers, with multibillion-dollar annual sales
potential.

Nov 14, 2012

Congress takes aim at FDA over meningitis outbreak

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Members of a congressional committee investigating the deadly meningitis outbreak on Wednesday accused the Food and Drug Administration of failing to prevent the crisis by moving too slowly against a Massachusetts pharmacy.

Tainted steroids from the pharmacy have so far killed 32 people and sickened 438 people in 19 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number is expected to rise with as many as 14,000 people having been exposed to the drugs injected to ease back pain.

Nov 7, 2012

Novartis heart failure drug cuts death by 37 percent: study

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An experimental Novartis AG drug to treat hospitalized acute heart failure patients reduced deaths by 37 percent compared with a placebo and appeared to be safe, according to data from a late stage clinical trial presented on Tuesday.

The drug, serelaxin, which is a form of a human hormone that relaxes blood vessels and eases stress on the heart and other organs, is considered one of the most important medicines in the Swiss drugmaker’s developmental pipeline.

Nov 7, 2012

Novartis heart failure drug cuts death by 37 pct-study

LOS ANGELES, Nov 6 (Reuters) – An experimental Novartis AG
drug to treat hospitalized acute heart failure
patients reduced deaths by 37 percent compared with a placebo
and appeared to be safe, according to data from a late stage
clinical trial presented on Tuesday.

The drug, serelaxin, which is a form of a human hormone that
relaxes blood vessels and eases stress on the heart and other
organs, is considered one of the most important medicines in the
Swiss drugmaker’s developmental pipeline.

Nov 6, 2012

Simple programming change to defibrillators saves lives-study

LOS ANGELES, Nov 6 (Reuters) – A simple tweak to implanted
defibrillators used to detect and correct dangerous heart
rhythms not only dramatically reduced unnecessary shocks but cut
deaths by 55 percent over traditionally programmed devices,
surprising researchers, according to data from a study presented
on Tuesday.

The study showed that by programming implantable
cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs, to only kick in when a
heart rate rises above 200 beats per minute reduced the number
of so-called inappropriate therapies by 80 to 90 percent.

Nov 6, 2012

Amgen drug cut cholesterol up to 66 pct in statin patients

LOS ANGELES, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Amgen Inc’s
experimental cholesterol-lowering drug, AMG145, reduced levels
of “bad” cholesterol up to 66 percent in patients already taking
statin drugs, according to results from a mid-stage trial that
were presented on Tuesday.

The findings were in line with other AMG145 studies showing
significant reductions in LDL cholesterol that were unveiled
this week at the American Heart Association scientific meeting
in Los Angeles, California.

Nov 6, 2012

Visible aging signs may predict heart disease

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Common visible signs of aging may not just be a vanity or employment problem. They may also be a harbinger of heart disease.

In a large, long-term study, people who displayed three to four signs of aging, such as receding hairlines at the temples, baldness at the crown of the hear, earlobe creases or yellow fatty deposits around the eyelids had a 57 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 39 percent increased risk of developing heart disease, Danish researchers found.

Nov 6, 2012

Amgen drug cuts bad cholesterol up to 66 pct in statin patients -trial

LOS ANGELES, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Amgen Inc’s
experimental cholesterol-lowering drug, AMG145, reduced levels
of “bad” cholesterol up to 66 percent in patients already taking
statin drugs, according to results from a mid-stage trial that
were presented on Tuesday.

The trial results were in line with two other studies
showing significant reductions in LDL cholesterol that were
unveiled on Monday at the American Heart Association scientific
meeting in Los Angeles.

    • 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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