As collective food coma descended on much of the US (and of course the various outposts of expat households worldwide) this long weekend, we like many of you stayed as far away from our PCs as possible, logging in only to get a quick glimpse at sale prices and dig up a few leftover turkey recipes. Next thing you know it's December already and you've eaten sixteen turkey sandwiches.
So, what did you miss while you were eating turkey tikka masala (or checking out some healthier options) ...
- $45 billion is really hard to come by these days. Coincidentally, bankers in the know suggest that's about how much Roche will need to borrow to finalize its acquisition of Genentech. Reuters writes that perhaps its time Roche started considering alternative sources of funding. Quoth the newswire on Sunday: "The question is about size. In light of the current climate, a $45 billion loan looks large. It would have to be a combination of everything -- Roche would have to print bonds to get the deal done," a senior banker close to the deal said.
- Scientists affiliated with Regulus Therapeutics have taken a big step toward proof-of-concept for anti-microRNA therapy. A study to be published in Nature this week detailed the role of miR-21 in heart failure in mice and demonstrated that an anti-miR-21 single-stranded oligonucleotide could prevent or treat heart failure in mouse models.
- Sometimes the life-cycle gets a flat tire or two. Following its October rejection in Europe as a fibromyalgia treatment, Lilly has pulled its NDA for Cymbalta for management of chronic pain. Lilly said it planned to resubmit the application in the first half of 2009.
- Another installment of the New York Times' 'Evidence Gap' series looks at the minimal impact a landmark 2002 hypertension study had on use of generic diuretics. The NYT writes that the Allhat study, as it was called, may be a useful case study about the difficulties of changing established medical practice, regardless of the savings, for policy experts and others pushing comparative effectiveness trials to lower the nation's prescription drug bill.
- Studies abroad: sure they're cheap and it's easier to recruit patients, but the WSJ this morning points out the various pitfalls, and notes that the increasing percentage of drug trials run in low-to-middle income nations are receiving increased scrutiny.
- Vaccination: not so profitable for many doctors, and some are considering eliminating jabs from their practices, says this AP piece (via the Boston Globe).
- Biotech: Just add water, some day.