Biotech and pharmaceutical companies opened the week with clinical, legal, financial and structural updates, and stocks moved accordingly in both directions, luring indices to dabble a bit in the red. Sanofi-Aventis ( SNY) gave the most comprehensive update on Monday saying it intends to make 31 submissions for new drugs by the end of 2010, and that it has 48 drugs in late-stage development. The pharmaceutical and human vaccine company also said its xaliproden treatment for Alzheimer's disease didn't demonstrate a statistically significant effect in late-stage studies and thus will be discontinued. But Sanofi expects to file its antidepressant saredutant, which was effective in two late-stage trials, for marketing approval in the U.S. and Europe in 2008. Also, another antidepressant, amibergon, met its target in one of four studies and the company expects to assess its complete efficacy data in the next year. Sanofi also plans to refile its marketing application for obesity drug Acomplia (Zimulti) in the U.S. pending long-term late-stage trial data expected in 2010. The drug, which is already available in Europe, was rejected by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this year when regulators questioned its psychological side effects. Sanofi shares fell 98 cents, or 2.3%, to $41.70. In a smaller update, Schering-Plough ( SGP) said Monday that it initiated two large phase III clinical studies with vicriviroc, for adults with HIV who have only the R5-type virus and who have already tried another treatment.
Stocks soar as the gross domestic product rises at an annualized rate of 3.5% in the third quarter and continuing jobless claims fall. Gregg Greenberg recaps the action in The Real Story video (above).