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Express Scripts sees $750 million in spending on new cholesterol drugs

Express Scripts Holding Co, the largest manager of prescription drug plans for U.S. employers and health plans, said it has reached deals to cover two costly new cholesterol drugs and expects to spend no more than $750 million on them next year. The injected drugs – Repatha from Amgen Inc and Praluent from partners Regeneron […]

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Valeant Under Fire Again Following New York Times Article

NEW YORK – A New York Times article excoriated Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX) for the amount the company spends on research and development versus the amount it spends on mergers and acquisitions after the Quebec-based company quadrupled the price on a 55-year-old drug that treats Wilson Disease, a genetic disorder.   The Times highlights […]

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FDA expands approval of Merck’s Keytruda to lung cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Merck & Co Inc’s immunotherapy, Keytruda, for patients with the most common form of lung cancer whose tumors produce a specific biological marker. The FDA approval for Keytruda in advanced non-small cell lung cancer is for patients whose tumors express PD-L1, a protein targeted by the […]

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Esperion Stock Plummets as Updates on ETC-1002 Proves Not Enough for Investors

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (ESPR)’s stock plummeted nearly 35 percent this morning after the company announced it will separately assess patients with statin intolerance following Phase II results. Esperion said it plans to conduct multiple Phase III clinical trials to “separately evaluate patients with statin intolerance, as well as patients who are […]

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Zosano Terminates Eli Lilly Deal, Halts Daily Osteoporosis Drug Program

Fremont, Calif.-based Zosano Pharma, Inc. announced yesterday that it will halt development of its Daily ZP-PTH treatment intended for severe osteoporosis. It plans to resume development of its Weekly ZP-PTH product. Japan’s regulatory authorities required additional studies, which would have delayed the marketing of the product by at least a year in Japan. This prompted […]

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Roche gets jump on rivals in race for progressive multiple sclerosis treatment

Switzerland’s Roche has moved into pole position in the race to launch the world’s first treatment for progressive multiple sclerosis but smaller players are working hard on rival approaches. While there are a number of treatments for relapsing remitting MS, the most common form of the disease, there are no approved drugs for progressive MS, […]

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Novartis’ new heart drug on track for approval in Europe

Novartis AG’s new heart failure drug Entresto is on track to be approved for use in Europe by the end of the year after it received the backing of EU regulators, the company said on Friday.   Entresto, also known as LCZ696, is the first new drug in decades for helping patients whose lives are […]

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Bay Area’s ZS Pharma Jumps on Merger Talks, Actelion Stock Drops

Switzerland-based Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF.PK) last week confirmed that it was in talks to acquire ZA Pharma Inc. As a result, the stock dropped about 3.2 percent overnight. ZS Pharma (ZSPH), headquartered in Mateo, Calif., found its stock price jumping 28 percent.   Actelion focuses on pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and markets Veletri, Tracleer and Opsumit. […]

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Advaxis therapy improves survival rates in cervical cancer patients

Advaxis Inc said its experimental cancer vaccine was found more effective in improving survival rates of cervical cancer patients than standard therapy, validating the technology behind its pipeline of cancer treatments. About 38.5 percent of the patients in a mid-stage study, whose disease had progressed or returned after prior therapy, survived for a year after […]

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Intra-Cellular’s schizophrenia drug effective in higher dosage

Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc said a higher dose of its lead drug was found to be effective in reducing the severity of schizophrenia symptoms in a late-stage study, sending its shares up more than 50 percent in premarket trading. Patients treated with 60 mg of the drug, ITI-007, showed improvement over placebo. The 40 mg dosage, […]

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