Big Pharma Looks Beyond Drugs to Smartphone Apps

Pharmaceutical companies looking for fresh sources of profit are increasingly investing in a range of health care innovations that aren't drugs at all, from smartphone apps and educational websites to social media platforms and wireless devices, reports Ernst & Young.

Two Reasons for Clinical Data Shares to Soar Again

From October 2010 to February 2011, biotech Clinical Data's stock doubled, mostly thanks to FDA approval of its novel antidepressant. But also pushing the stock up -- and making it likely to perhaps double again -- is speculation that a Big Pharma will buy Clinical Data.

What's Behind the Share Buyback Binge?

Companies that have piled up cash over the past few years are finding one good use for it: Repurchasing their own shares. January alone saw $57 billion in buybacks, compared with $357 billion for all of 2010. While buybacks don't add value, they do give investors more options.

Two Drugs Found to Fight Steve Jobs' Rare Cancer Type

Pfizer's cancer drug Sutent and Novartis's drug Afinitor have both been found to be effective against the rare form of pancreatic cancer that Apple CEO Steve Jobs was diagnosed with in 2004, according to two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Pfizer 4Q Earnings Nearly Quadruple

Pfizer beat Wall Street expectations by a slim margin as its profits nearly quadrupled, compared to a 2009 quarter hurt by big restructuring charges.

The Dow Has Its Best Close Since June 2008

Wall Street shrugged off instability in Egypt to rally to a two-and-a-half year high Tuesday, boosted by encouraging economic data and better-than-expected corporate earnings.

Pfizer Joins Other Pharmas in Giving a Cautious Outlook

Pfizer reported fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday that nearly quadrupled from a year ago as revenue rose 6%. But it also lowered its sales guidance for 2012, due to some of its bestselling drugs going off patent. What's ahead for the world's biggest drugmaker:

Another Cancer-Drug Failure Highlights Difficulties Facing Pharmas

Sanofi-Aventis announced its cancer drug candidate iniparib failed in a late-stage clinical trial. Other pharmaceutical companies have also experienced recent setbacks as they scramble to bolster their pipelines ahead of the patent cliff, when they will be forced to compete with cheaper generics.

What Pfizer Sees in Lpath's Innovative Blindness Drugs

Lpath focuses on developing therapeutics that target bioactive lipids for treating a range of human diseases, including cancer and diseases that cause blindness. Its promising drugs have attracted attention -- and lots of money -- from Pfizer. More of both could be coming.

Which Sector Lost the Most Jobs in 2010? Pharma

If you don't count the U.S. government and nonprofits, the pharmaceutical industry had the most job cuts last year. Mergers, acquisitions and major restructurings made pharma a much smaller and leaner sector -- will those changes now play in its favor?

What a Wild Year It Was
for Health Care

Led by the health insurance reform law, a flurry of drug and food recalls, key medical breakthroughs and plenty of layoffs and lawsuits, 2010 proved to be an exciting -- if not always positive -- year. Here's our list of the year's biggest health stories.

Merck KGaA Is Latest Pharma to Settle Justice Department Claims

German pharmaceutical and chemical company Merck KGaA will pay $280 million to settle a U.S. Department of Justice claim brought against a former subsidiary, Dey Pharma, regarding Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. This is the fourth such settlement this month alone.

Stocks Close Higher for the Week, Once Again

The last full trading week of 2010 has closed and stocks were modestly mixed trading on light volume. While pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Merck put a damper on the Dow, robust earnings from Oracle and Research In Motion helped lift tech stocks.

AstraZeneca's Brilinta Fails to Win FDA Approval

AstraZeneca failed to win FDA approval for its potential heart drug Brilinta, a drug the company -- which is about to face a severe patent cliff -- had high hopes for. Shares in the U.K. drugmaker dropped in London and were over 5% lower in premarket trading in New York.

Can GE and J&J Help Detect Alzheimer's Earlier?

Medical imaging and diagnostics powerhouse GE Healthcare teams up with pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to research methods of detecting Alzheimer's in patients -- even before they begin to exhibit symptoms of the devastating disease.

Wyeth Loses Appeal Over Hormone Replacement Drugs

Wyeth Pharmecuticals on Wednesday lost its appeal of a decision that awarded $58 million in damages to three women who claimed the company's hormone-replacement drugs caused their breast cancer.

Is ImmunoCellular Another Rising Star in Biotech?

Much like Dendreon, which has a promising prostate cancer drug, ImmunoCellular is developing a cancer drug. In this case, it battles brain cancer, and a Phase I trial turned in remarkable results. But unlike Dendreon, ImmunoCellular is still pretty much an unknown.

How to Protect Yourself From Counterfeit Drugs Online

Even if the fake drug you buy online doesn't kill or even hurt you, the transaction itself can reveal your financial and medical information to questionable (at best) characters. Protecting yourself starts with understanding the dangers. Plus: Here are some helpful tips.

Pfizer's Potential Arthritis Drug Works in Late-Stage Trial

Pfizer shares were down more than 1% Monday afternoon despite the pharmaceutical giant's report Sunday of successful late-stage trial results for an experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug. The study showed tasocitinib reduced pain and inflammation and improved physical function in patients with moderately to severely active RA.

How to Approve 'Biosimilar' Drugs? The FDA Has to Figure That Out

Unlike generics, which are the exact chemical copies of a brand-name drug, biosimilars have large and often complex proteins that are made in living cells, and tiny differences can play havoc with the product. It may take years for the FDA to create an approval process.

Pfizer Recalls Lipitor for Moldy Smell

For the third time in as many months, Pfizer has issued a recall of its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor in response to consumer complaints of unusual moldy odor.

Pfizer Makes Headway in the Fight Against Lung Cancer

Pfizer's cancer drug crizotinib was able to shrink tumors of non-small-cell lung cancer patients whose tumors carried a specific genetic mutation that fuses two genes. The early-stage study results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A New Antidepressant Maker Has Lots of Folks Excited

Tiny, little-known biotech Clinical Data has developed a potential blockbuster drug called Vilazodone. If OK'd, it would be the first new depression treatment in 15 years. Its potential is so huge that several Big Pharmas are said to looking to buy the startup.

Biotechs and Big Pharma Squabble in Sweden

At a recent life-sciences conference in Stockholm, execs of several U.S. and foreign biotechs clashed with Big Pharma in a lively debate on the merits of their respective goals and products. The result, however, was a stand-off.