There are growing signs of investor discontent with GlaxoSmithKline. And so Christopher Gent, the drugmaker's chairman, is expected to address the rumblings at his annual autumn chat with shareholders, some of whom want the consumer business spun off. Then there's the little matter of who should succeed JP Garnier as ceo. Jp, you may recall, retires in May and Glaxo could announce his replacement by year end.
Carl Icahn as Biotech Boy. Last week, he won federal approval to increase his stake in Biogen Idec, prompting a run-up in stock as investors speculated Icahn would launch a takeover. Remember what happened when he loaded up on shares of ImClone and MedImmune. Meanwhile, Xconomy.com recently noted that SEC filings show Icahn and his entities have shares in at least five other biotech and drug concerns: Adventrx Pharmaceuticals, Telik, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Cyberonics, and Enzon Pharmaceuticals.
And FDA reviewers say that studies of a new Merck AIDS drug, called Isentress, show the novel medication is safe and effective to treat HIV patients who have developed a resistance to other meds. An FDA advisory committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow. You can read the FDA documents here. If approved, the Merck med will compete with yet another new type of AIDS treatment from Pfizer.