Caroline's Feed
Jul 16, 2014

Roche Alzheimer’s drug fails main goals in mid-stage study

ZURICH (Reuters) – Roche said its experimental Alzheimer’s drug failed to meet its main goals in a mid-stage study, a result likely to bolster the belief that drugs need to be given in earlier stages of the disease to slow patients’ decline.

The Swiss drugmaker’s treatment known as crenezumab was tested in patients with mild-to-moderate forms of Alzheimer’s, a fatal, brain-wasting disease that gradually robs patients of their ability to think and care for themselves.

Jul 15, 2014

Novartis and Google to develop ‘smart’ contact lens

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Novartis has struck an agreement with Google to develop “smart” contact lenses that would help diabetics track their blood glucose levels or restore the eye’s ability to focus.

The device for diabetics would measure glucose in tear fluid and send the data wirelessly to a mobile device, Novartis said. The technology is potentially life-changing for many diabetics, who prick their fingers as many as 10 times daily to check their body’s production of the sugar.

Jul 8, 2014

Contest to scrap ‘too solemn’ Swiss anthem gets 200 entries

ZURICH (Reuters) – More than 200 budding Swiss songwriters have entered a public competition to come up with a new, more rousing national anthem, according to organizers who want to ditch a traditional work many view as far too solemn.

The contest, organized by the Swiss Society for Public Good, aims to replace “The Swiss Psalm” composed by Alberich Zwyssig, a Swiss monk, in 1841, which critics say is too hymn-like and at odds with modern-day Switzerland.

Jul 3, 2014

Chocolate maker Barry Callebaut sales volume growth slows in first nine months

ZURICH, July 3 (Reuters) – Barry Callebaut, the
world’s biggest chocolate maker, said on Thursday sales volumes
growth slowed to 2.4 percent in the nine months to the end of

The Zurich-based company, which makes chocolate for Nestle
, Unilever and Mondelez
among others, is benefiting from a trend among big food groups
to outsource chocolate production.

Jun 18, 2014

Novartis says slimmer structure to boost profitability

ZURICH, June 18 (Reuters) – Novartis AG on
Wednesday shed some light on how an overhaul of its business
could boost profitability even in a “brutal” era for health
spending, saying the shake-up would have lifted core operating
margins by 2.5 percentage points last year.

The Swiss drugmaker unveiled a series of deals worth over
$25 billion in April in which it will get out of underperforming
businesses and add higher margin cancer drugs from
GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

Jun 17, 2014

Actelion seen on takeover list after stellar drug data

ZURICH, June 17 (Reuters) – Actelion could attract
potential bidders after strong results for the Swiss biotech
company’s new heart and lung drug, Deutsche Bank analysts said
on Tuesday, as a wave of deals sweeps through the healthcare

Europe’s biggest biotech company has been touted as a
takeover candidate in the past and the stellar data could
reassure potential investors that the firm’s long-term growth
prospects are on course.

Jun 16, 2014

Actelion’s heart-lung drug meets main goal in late-stage study

ZURICH, June 16 (Reuters) – Actelion Ltd said its
experimental heart and lung drug Selexipag met its primary goal
in a late-stage study, giving the Swiss biotech company a
potential second big seller to replenish its product pipeline.

Selexipag is the third drug from Actelion to treat pulmonary
arterial hypertension (PAH), a progressively worsening condition
characterised by abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries
of the lungs. The cause is unknown and the disease has no cure.

Jun 12, 2014

Swiss government mulls measures to cool housing market

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss government is weighing new measures to cool demand in the housing market out of fear that Switzerland’s high levels of household debt could provoke a real estate crash if the economy went into recession, a senior finance official told Reuters.

The International Monetary Fund has sounded alarm bells about escalating house prices around the world and last month urged Switzerland to implement more aggressive policies to dampen demand for mortgages.

Jun 2, 2014

Roche returns to antibiotic research as superbug threat grows

ZURICH (Reuters) – Roche is betting the same tools that made it the world’s largest producer of cancer drugs will help it tackle the growing public health crisis of antibiotic resistance as regulators and politicians encourage fresh research.

The Swiss drugmaker used its expertise in in vitro diagnostic tests to develop highly-targeted cancer medicines. Now it believes it can use those same skills to find out quickly which bugs cause which infections, and help doctors kill them.

May 22, 2014

China anti-graft watchdog visits Roche amid pharma crackdown

SHANGHAI/ZURICH, May 22 (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Roche
Holding AG said it had been visited by a unit of
China’s anti-trust regulator – a move that comes amid a widening
crackdown on corruption and high prices in the country’s
pharmaceutical sector.

However, it was not immediately clear what was behind the

Roche said its offices in the eastern city of Hangzhou had
been visited by a unit of the State Administration for Industry
and Commerce (SAIC). The SAIC usually takes the lead in cases of
bribery and corruption.