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Healthcare, editors' picks


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Healthcare, editors' picks

Here are the editors' top picks for the week ended Sept. 1.

Ex-biopharma accountant, co-conspirators plead guilty in insider-trading plot

A former accountant at a New Jersey biotechnology company and his three co-conspirators failed in their attempt to use an encrypted smartphone application to outsmart the securities system in an insider trading plot, prosecutors said Aug. 31.

FDA issues warning about testing Merck's Keytruda in multiple myeloma

After reviewing data from two halted trials, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration alerted cancer researchers not to test Merck & Co. Inc.'s Keytruda in combination with certain agents in patients with multiple myeloma, an indication not yet approved.

Merck's big REVEAL, coffee consumption in the spotlight at cardiology meeting

Several major pharmaceutical companies reported additional results and data on their heart drugs at the European Society of Cardiology's annual conference in Barcelona.

FDA: Novartis' CAR-T drug delivers on science's promise to transform medicine

The head of the FDA said the approval of Novartis AG's Kymriah, the first gene therapy permitted to enter the U.S. market, was a key milestone in delivering on science's promise of transforming clinical medicine.

Novartis surprises the market with $475,000 price tag on new cancer therapy

The first gene therapy approved for the U.S. market will be priced at $475,000 in its first indication and free for patients with no response after a month, soothing some concerns about an incoming wave of costly treatments — but not all.

Merck's pipeline heart drug fails to impress, likely to face big payer barriers

The U.S. pharmaceutical company's cholesterol drug anacetrapib does not have the data to justify a high price or potentially even a launch, analysts said, pointing to the current controversy around PCSK9 therapies, another class of cholesterol drugs.

American healthcare force, corporations step up to assist in Harvey response

U.S. public healthcare workers and private-sector doctors, nurses and pharmacists were on the ground in Texas to help before Hurricane Harvey ever made landfall as a Category 4 storm. U.S. health companies also rapidly responded with pledges of cash.

Indian drugmakers' fiscal Q1'18 earnings hit by regulatory snags, new tax regime

Top Indian pharmaceutical companies faced a tough first quarter of fiscal 2018, seeing their earnings fall due to ongoing pricing pressure in the U.S., implementation of a new tax regime at home and regulatory hurdles facing their plants in India.

Earnings weakened for nonprofit healthcare operators in 2016, analysts say

Lower operating margins and weak investment markets contribute to a decrease in earnings for nonprofit acute healthcare organizations.

Gilead's chosen cancer target brings mixed response

Gilead Sciences Inc.'s Kite Pharma Inc. acquisition is a big step into the cancer space that could bring a hefty reward — although it may take a few years' time and some significant marketing muscle.

US FDA boosts oversight of stem cell makers, takes aim at bad actors

The FDA took aim at unscrupulous makers of unproven and unapproved stem cell treatments, even raiding one San Diego clinic that was using a non-commercially available smallpox vaccine as part of a cancer therapy mixture.

Gilead CEO: cancer cell therapy is now 'main strategy' with Kite deal

With Gilead Sciences' planned $11.9 billion acquisition of Kite Pharma Inc., the Silicon Valley biotech is pivoting to an oncology focus, executives said on a conference call.

Capitol Checkup: September shutdown showdown; Senate step-by-step; opioid status

September is historically a month of Capitol Hill showdowns, and 2017 is expected to be no different, with a potential government shutdown looming; meanwhile, lawmakers want to enact some healthcare fixes before the month ends.