Before we get to the weekend's industry news, a quick correction: Yes, yes, the Flyers-in-5 prediction went down in flames on Saturday, which no doubt gave great pleasure to our colleagues in Washington. But although Flyers-in-6 (or, if needs be, Flyers-in-7) lacks that authoritative margin-of-victory and alliterative mojo that our original prediction had in spades, that's fine by us. And hey, the Sixers' come-from-behind upset of the Detroit Pistons yesterday takes a little sting out of Saturday's loss.
- Distribution of specialty therapies is an increasingly important source of revenue for pharmacy benefit managers like Express Scrips, the New York Times reported on Saturday. But even as employers hire PBMs to get access to lower priced medicines for their benefit programs, the cost of some specialty drugs are going through the roof.
- Genentech reported that Avastin in combination with cisplatin and gemcitabine as first line therapy improved progression-free survival in non-small cell lung cancer patients, but did not extend overall survival; that Phase III AVAil study was sponsored by Roche. A separate first-line Phase III test of Avastin in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin (E4599) showed a statistically significant improvement in overall survival in a similar group of NSCLC patients. Meanwhile, Reuters reports on the challenge that Avastin is getting from Imclone's Erbitux; according to analysts from Morgan Stanley, Erbitux is winning.
- Vernalis has monetized a majority of its European Frova royalties in a deal with Paul Capital that has net the UK biotech 18.4 million euros. Our recent take on Vernalis and its Frova-induced coma is here.
- Novartis beats the Street, as Diovan and Gleevec bring home the bacon. The Big Pharma's net was up 6.8%. WSJ reports.
- And finally ... Pharmalot. Your destination for pharmaceutical-Passover humor.
image from flickr user xhtmled used under a creative commons license.