Dendreon ( DNDN) completed enrollment in the phase III study of its Provenge prostate cancer drug known as Impact. That means the next big event will likely be the interim survival analysis, expected in the second half of next year. While we wait, here's something to chew on: If the interim analysis of Impact shows a trend toward longer survival for Provenge patients, but the result isn't statistically significant, what does Dendreon do with the data?
Gilead Sciences ( GILD) announces a $3 billion stock buyback. A good move.
I've talked in the past about the super-blockbuster potential for any new drug that can modify or reverse the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. It's one of the reasons why there is so much investor interest in companies working on experimental Alzheimer's drugs. But another potential commercial bonanza awaits any company that develops a diagnostic test to diagnose people with the disease. In the best case, such a test will identify those at risk for Alzheimer's early, before the disease does irreparable harm.
Good news. Cancer death rates in the U.S. are falling.
When Amgen ( AMGN) beat Roche in court Tuesday, Affymax ( AFFY) celebrated, too. I wrote about Affymax and its long-acting anemia drug
My grandmother was right.
A buy-side analyst friend was on the ground in rainy New Orleans for this week's annual meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity. The buzz: Using combinations of central nervous system (CNS) drugs like antidepressants and anti-psychotics to induce weight loss has some doctors worried about long-term safety. This means weight-loss drug combinations under development from Orexigen ( OREX) and Vivus ( VVUS), in particular, are going to be under very close scrutiny. The FDA, in particular, is expected to be very tough on these drug combos. (For more detail, click
Hythiam ( HYTM), a marketer of a controversial, expensive and clinically unproven drug treatment program, was kicked out of Pierce County, Wash. this week, which includes the city of Tacoma, according to a story in the local NewsTribune newspaper. The Pierce County Council voted Tuesday to end a $400,000 pilot program to treat drug offenders with Hythiam's three-drug cocktail called Prometa after a county-funded audit found the treatment doesn't work. This news surely brings smiles to the faces of short-sellers, who have engaged in a long battle with Hythiam over the virtues of Prometa. Shorts, obviously, view Prometa as an expensive bit of snake oil, but Hythiam has been able to convince some local governments to buy into it as a way to treat drug offenders. The news out of Pierce County, however, suggests that this revenue stream may be on the verge of drying up. UBS analyst Don Hooker yanked his outperform rating on Hythiam and placed it "under review" on the news.