We hope you east-coasters enjoyed the snow and that it didn't wreak any personal or vehicular havoc. It sure looked like fun from iced-over Europe (we're sure a trip to the dentist looked like fun if you were traveling by Eurostar this weekend). Meanwhile the weather and the calendar put a slight damper on industry activity over the weekend but the Senate was busy wheeling, dealing and voting. 60-40. Is Health Care Reform a done deal? It seems so.
On to the weekend wrap-up, but first a reminder: don't forget to check out our Deal of the Year candidates (in three categories). A few more to come early this week and voting commences on Wednesday.
While you were making a snow-Vader ...
- An article in the NY Times examines branded drug-generic 'bioequivalence' and the phenomenon that brands and generics (and indeed different versions of the same generic medicine) may not work exactly as well or exactly the same.
- The (UK) Times brings the hammer down on "drug giant" General Electric for overzealous use of British libel laws to gag a researcher that has expressed reservations about one of its contrast agents.
- Pfizer has licensed from Athersys the rights to use the biotech's MultiStem cell therapy platform in inflammatory bowel disease. Athersys gets $6mm up-front, which isn't a lot, but when you think about other Cleveland-based deals (CC Sabathia to the Brewers, 2008, and Cliff Lee to the Phils, 2009) it stacks up pretty well. Andy Pollack at the NYT has the scoop. [UPDATE: Here's the release.]
- Thanks to PhRMA's dealing, drug re-importation is famously out of the current Health Care Reform legislation. But that doesn't mean the Administration has abandoned it, reports Reuters.
- Zeltia makes NICE a deal it decides not to refuse on sarcoma treatment Yondelis, reports Bloomber. More risk-sharing as key to reimbursement.
- UCB's anti-TNF Cimzia fails a Phase IIIb study in Crohn's disease, but the company remains 'committed' to pursuing the indication.
- Actelion on the other hand showed in a late-stage trial that it's insomnia drug candidate almorexant works well, but the study threw up some unspecified safety concerns--and that's likely going to be a big problem--or at least require longer term Phase III studies.
- DeCode Genetics and 'dark matter' genetics: making news from beyond bankruptcy.
- And finally, Sanofi-Aventis is making some pipeline decisions. OUT: sleep-aid eplivanserin (FDA complete response letter in Sept 2009) and late-stage Factor Xa inhibiting clot drug idrabiotaparinux.
- UPDATE: Sanofi also said it was buying OTC co Chattem for $1.9 billion. More on this from our friends at OTCToday/The Tan Sheet later ...
- UPDATE: Seems like last week's deal splurge is spilling over into today: also inking deals: Incyte/Lilly ($90mm u/f) and Seattle Genetics/GSK ($12mm u/f)
- UPDATE: OK this is the last update. anything that happens after 8am no longer fits into the weekend wrap-up. Just under the wire: UCB/Paul Capital deal: $100mm for some of UCB's incoming payments from third parties. And Teva/OncoGenex in oncology deal.