Monday, September 29, 2008

While You Were Debating

We know you spent the weekend discussing the liklihood of a Phillies' sweep in the NDLS. I mean, what else could possibly merit your attention?

Well, there was that face-off in Oxford, Mississippi between two Senators both trying to look presidential. Congressional leaders and the Bush administration also agreed to the terms of a revised $700 billion bail-out package that will be voted on today in the House. And of course, there was Tina Fey--what's the word I'm looking for? Oh, yes...mocking--there was Tina Fey mocking Sarah Palin's recent girl-talk with Katie Couric. We can't wait for Thursday night's confab with Senator Biden.

Meanwhile in our own industry, a mostly quiet weekend was interrupted by the following newsmakers:

* Regeneron and Bayer HealthCare announced positive Phase II results with their VEGF Trap-Eye in patients with wet AMD at the 2008 annual meeting of the Retina Society in Scottsdale, Arizona.

* FDA delayed for a second time its decision on the approval of Daiichi Sankyo and Eli Lilly's blood thinner, prasugrel (Effient). FDA's decision, which the companies announced after the market closed, drove Lilly shares down $1.81, or 3.9%, to $45.01 in after-hours trading. At least one analyst wasn't fussed about the drug's potential approval: Catherine Arnold of Credit Suisse group, wisely noted that "no news is no news."

* Anemia drugs continue to draw fire. This time US regulators are reviewing the use of anemia meds from Amgen and J&J in stroke patients after a German study linked a J&J version to increased deaths.

* The WSJ reports that more than a dozen non-governmental organizations pledged more than $400 million to improve access to clean water and sanitation in the developing world. The effort, dubbed the "Global Health Mega-Commitment on Water and Sanitation" for the Clinton Global Initiative, aims to reach 8.5 million people and provide a billion liters of clean water to developing areas over the next several years. Among the most visible donors: Napo Pharmaceuticals Inc, with a $300 million pledge for anti-diarrheal drugs over seven to eight years in parts of Africa and the actor Matt Damon.

* The turmoil in the market could spell trouble for M&A according to the FT. Deals at risk, according to the paper, include our favorite deal to expound upon: the Roche-Genentech tie-up. (Hey, it's been a couple of weeks since we mentioned it here on the blog.) We aren't sure if it's fair to blame paralysis in the markets for Roche's unexpectedly slow response to Genentech's polite but chilly "Thanks, but no thanks" from a few weeks back.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user mrdorkesq through a creative commons license.)

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