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Trump executive order on healthcare imminent; Ebola vaccines show promise


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Trump executive order on healthcare imminent; Ebola vaccines show promise

Top News

* President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order to take action on healthcare after Congress failed to fulfill his campaign pledge of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Legal experts that spoke to Reuters believe that the expected change, which would allow Americans to buy insurance across state lines, would violate federal law and will most probably be challenged in court. The Wall Street Journal said Trump is planning to sign the order today.

* The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence rejected Roche Holding AG's Erivedge, or vismodegib, for use under the National Health Services to treat advanced basal cell carcinoma as the drug's clinical benefit was unclear.

Meanwhile, NICE recommended routine NHS use for Bayer AG's Stivarga, or regorafenib, to treat certain patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

* Ebola vaccines developed by Merck & Co. Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline plc created a powerful antibody response for 12 months in a placebo-controlled study.

* A case of pneumonic plague was reported in the Seychelles, according to The New York Times. The patient had just returned from Madagascar, where at least 50 plague deaths have been reported.

On the policy front

* Amgen Inc. Chairman and CEO Robert Bradway was elected chairman-elect of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America lobbying group, effective immediately. Olivier Brandicourt, CEO of Sanofi, will become chairman-elect in February 2018.

* New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration issued guidelines aimed at curbing human abuse of opioids prescribed to pets, The Wall Street Journal wrote.

* The Indian government imposed some restrictions on stem cell research to prevent unethical practices and protect patients, The Economic Times of India reported.

M&A and capital markets

* Restoration Robotics Inc. priced its IPO of 3,575,000 shares at $7 apiece.

* Novartis AG will not sell its 33% voting stake in Roche Holding AG, which is worth about $14 billion.

Drug and product pipeline

* Merck & Co. Inc. will not pursue regulatory approval for its investigational cholesterol drug anacetrapib following a thorough review of the drug's clinical profile including discussions with external reports.

* Ardelyx Inc.'s investigational drug Tenapanor met its main goal in a phase 3 study for treating patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.

* AFT Pharmaceuticals Ltd. said the phase 3 trial for the intravenous form of its Maxigesic painkiller met its main goal, showing that the drug provided superior pain relief compared to paracetamol, ibuprofen or placebo.

Operational activity

* Sanofi is investing €170 million to expand a vaccine manufacturing site in Val de Reuil, France.

* A coalition of 10 groups urged congressional leaders to examine the deal that Allergan plc struck with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe to protect the patents of its dry eye drug Restasis.

* Ono Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. will pay ¥2.5 billion up front and up to an additional ¥19.15 billion in milestone payments under a licensing agreement with Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. for its Selinexor and KPT-8602 in all oncology indications.

Our features

* Hargan fast-tracked to top HHS job after slow ride to deputy spot: The White House disclosed President Donald Trump's decision to move Eric Hargan to the acting secretary's role of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in a late-night Oct. 10 statement, tucking the big reveal about the new designation at the bottom of an announcement involving personnel nominations.

Other features

* A piece of research published in The Lancet takes a look at the pandemic potential of hemorrhagic fever in Africa.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.24% to 28,459.03, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.35% to 20,954.72.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.16% to 7,546.21, while the Euronext 100 was down 0.23% to 1,044.44.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 6:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.