A crisis in the US banking sector pushed Hurricane Ike and politics to page 2 this weekend. A selection of headlines from the NYT pretty much says it all for Wall Street: "After Frantic Day, Wall St. Banks Falter," "Jittery Road Ahead," "Stunning Fall for Main St.'s Brokerage Firm," "Banks Fear Next Move By Shorts," "Nation's Financial Industry Gripped By Fear." Lehman Bros. has filed for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch sold out to Bank of America. Insurance giant AIG teeters on the brink. The Wall Street Journal's special coverage is here. While you were waiting for the sky to fall ...
- Prostrakan received FDA approval for Sancuso, its transdermal 5HT3 receptor antagonist for chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. Prostrakan will market the patch--its first drug approved for the US market--with NovaQuest (more on that innovative collaboration--and others like it--here in our 'Royalty Flush' feature from June's IN VIVO). Sancuso also won IN VIVO Blog's award for a drug name that sounds most like a CBS procedural about a disgruntled and tough (but fair) police detective. Bonus FDA News: UCB's Keppra XR also received approval, the pharma said today.
- Sanofi this morning extended its offer to buy the shares of Czech generics maker Zentiva that it does not already own. Nothing says 'please!' like an entire web site dedicated to the cause.
- Are you a French biotech? Are you lonely? Are you tired of sitting at home watching 'Allo 'Allo reruns while all the other biotechs are out with the VCs? Well, worry no more: your industry association has this friend, it's a brother of a friend really, and well, nevermind, just get started with France Biotech's Bioweb Seed Dating (remember, on the Internet, nobody knows you're une chienne).
- Bayer CEO Werner Wenning to German paper Tagesspiegel: we are not vulnerable to takeover (but of course you can't rule it out ...).
- Good news for NicOx: a second pivotal trial (study 302) for naproxcinod met its three co-primary efficacy endpoints (and its secondary endpoints as well) in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee (a third study, in osteoarthritis of the hip is due to read out later this year). Pooling results from studies 301 and 302 demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in blood pressure at the higher (750mg bid) dose as well, though the blood pressure data for 302 alone were apparently inconclusive, though "non detrimental". NicOx shares were up 13% in Paris this morning. Our 2007 story on naproxcinod and NicOx's R&D and business development plan for the drug is here.
- Biovitrum said this morning that it was acquiring the marketed biologic therapeutic products Kepivance (palifermin) and Stemgen (ancestim) and licensing exclusive worldwide rights to Kineret (anakinra) from Amgen for $110 million in cash and $20 million in Biovitrum shares plus milestones and royalties. The products generated a combined $70 million in 2007 sales.
- RIP David Foster Wallace.