pharmaceutical stocks

Growing Interest
in Achillion's Hepatitis Drugs

At a liver disease conference in Boston, one of the highlights is expected to be reports from Achillion about its novel hepatitis C treatments, especially ACH-1625. The buzz is growing stronger that the little biotech is attracting the attention of some players in Big Pharma.

Vivus Shares Rally on Hopes Obesity Drug Will Gain Approval Next Year

Vivus shares are soaring this morning, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected the drugmaker's obesity drug Qnexa yesterday. Investors are hoping that the FDA's rejection, which includes a request for more safety data -- not another clinical trial -- will lead to approval next year.

Earnings, Deals, Hiring: A Busy Day for Big Pharma

Big Pharma didn't rest Thursday, with Celgene, Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZeneca among the big names reporting earnings. A deal between Stryker and Boston Scientific and Sanofi and BMP Sunstone also made the headlines, as did some hiring from Teva. Bristol-Myers Squibb received the anticipated new approval for one of its cancer drugs. But it was Celgene that led drug stocks higher.

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.

Sanofi Says MS Drug Reduces Relapses

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis says its multiple sclerosis drug teriflunomide significantly cut relapses in patients who took the once-daily oral treatment.

Sanofi Denies Offering $69-$80 Price Range to Genzyme

There's a new plot twist in the takeover battle between French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis and U.S. drugmaker Genzyme. A regulatory filing made by Genzyme on Thursday claims Sanofi may be willing to go much higher than its current $69 bid -- a claim the French company disputes.

World Drug Sales to Hit $880 Billion in 2011

Global pharmaceutical sales are expected to grow by 5% to 7% in 2011 to around $880 billion, thanks to robust growth in emerging markets, especially China, as well as new innovative treatments, and despite patent expirations and budget pressures in the developed world.

J&J to Acquire Vaccine Maker Crucell

Giant drugmaker Johnson & Johnson has agreed to buy Dutch vaccine maker Crucell. The deal will give J&J a bigger piece of the vaccine market and better access to emerging markets.

Novartis Halts Two Drug Development Programs

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis announced Tuesday that it had discontinued the development of two drugs -- the hepatitis C treatment Zalbin, and antifungal agent Mycograb. The company will take impairment charges of approximately $590 million in third quarter of 2010.

Sanofi-Aventis Inks 10-Year R&D Deal with Covance

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis announced a 10-year agreement with Covance on Thursday under which the Princeton, N.J.-based contract research firm will provide it with drug development services. Sanofi-Aventis will pay Covance between $1.2 billion to $2.2 billion.

Endo to Acquire Generics Company Qualitest for $1.2 Billion

Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP) agreed to buy generics company Qualitest Pharmaceuticals for $1.2 billion cash. Qualitest is the sixth-largest U.S. generics company as measured by prescriptions filled. Qualitest will add about $400 million to Endo%u2019s annual revenue and 40 cents per share in annual adjusted earnings, Endo said in a statement.

Four Cash-Rich Pharma Picks From Goldman

While a new report from Goldman says health care is in a state of flux that most of the sector's companies haven't adjusted to yet, it also pinpoints four that have plenty of cash that could be put to good use for investors.

Roche Announces Cost-Cutting Plan

Giant Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche has outlined a cost-cutting plan to help it offset pricing pressures in the U.S. and Europe, and following several setbacks in its late-stage research pipeline.

Setback for Roche and Immunogen Breast Cancer Drug

The FDA denied accelerated approval of Roche's trastuzumab-DM1 (T-DM1) license application. T-DM1 is a potential breast cancer treatment. Roche will continue with its trials and plans a global regulatory submission in mid-2012.

Sanofi-Avenits Won't Boost Genzyme Bid

Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis is unwilling to pay more than $70 a share in its bid to buy biotech firm Genzyme, media outlets reported Wednesday. If a deal can't be reached, the French drugmaker may consider alternative takeover targets.

Deutsche Bank Initiates Coverage of Biotech Stocks

Several biotech stocks were on the move Monday after Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on some of them. The bank's analyst, Robyn Karnauskas, took a generally wary view on the biotech sector, only putting buy ratings on Gilead and Dendreon.

Sanofi-Aventis Earnings Beat Expectations

Sanofi-Aventis reported its second-quarter net profit rose 7.6% to 2.48 billion euros, beating expectations. But the French drugmaker warned that earnings may fall for the full year, and it remained silent about its rumored plan to make a friendly bid for Genzyme.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Earnings Beat Estimates

Bristol-Myers Squibb reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings on Thursday, driven in part by higher sales for some of its virology blood-thinner drugs, cost controls and a favorable tax rate.

This Tiny Biotech Has Some Giant Backers

ZIOPHARM has enticed several major institutional investors to put their money in it. And it has an all-star group of cancer scientists joining its committee to design Phase 3 clinical trials for its chief product, Zymafos, a cancer treatment.

Merck After Health Care Reform: Still Looking Hale

Like other Big Pharmas, Merck has estimated how much the new law will crimp revenues. Unlike its peers, however, the news here looks a lot less. Merck has some advantages, including the Schering acquisition, that should help it thrive in the new era.