It's the first weekend in December and that means it's time once again for the American Society of Hematology meeting. This year, reps from biotech and pharma travel to N'awlins to make news--or at least issue press releases--before the last year of the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close.
And for the foodies/cultural mavens in the industry, how can you blame them? Where else can you indulge in chicory coffee, beignets (essentially fried dough, but the French makes it sounds waaaay better), and gumbo, while also soaking up the music scene?
If you weren't at ASH, you were likely debating the merits of football's popularity contest, aka the Bowl Championship Series, or Tim Tebow's oscar-winning performance after the Gators lost to Alabama. Or maybe you were engaged in that annual ritual now closely tied with propping up the national economy...filling recycled, reusable bags with unnecessary plastic items manufactured in China.
Away from food, footballs and rituals: this week's dealmaking got off to a healthy start, with Celgene announcing it was buying private firm Gloucester Pharmaceuticals for $340 million in cash, plus up to $300 million in future US and international regulatory milestones. The deal further strengthens Celgene's cancer franchise--more specifically, its blood cancer franchise--as Gloucester's romidepsin (Istodax), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, was approved by FDA in November for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
Not that Celgene's early Monday morning shopping should overshadow our hand-picked selection of the weekend events that happened while you were searching in vain for a $10 Zhu Zhu hamster... (Fuhgedabout it!)
(Image by flickrer and[w] used with permission through a creative commons license.)