ID Admin: April 2007 Archives

U.K. drug giant buys vaccine firm

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medImmune LONDON–AstraZeneca PLC said yesterday it is buying U.S.-based biotech drug maker MedImmune Inc. in a $15.6 billion (U.S.) deal that will allow the British company to enter the vaccines market.

AstraZeneca, looking to strengthen its pipeline of future drugs as it faces patent challenges and escalating generic competition, will pay $58 per share for MedImmune, a 21 per cent premium to the stock's close Friday.

The deal, which AstraZeneca hopes to close in June, will increase the company's proportion of biotechnology drugs in its pipeline to 27 per cent from 7 per cent, and enlarge its total pipeline by 45 projects to 163 projects.

senateby Mike Adams, NewsTarget.com

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 15-5 to approve a bill that aims to strengthen FDA oversight of drug company advertising and post-approval follow-up studies. The bill was sponsored by Wyoming Republican Sen. Mike Enzi and Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Edward Kennedy. The primary motive for the bill is to give the FDA more power to stop a future Vioxx disaster from being repeated.

The Bush Administration is against the bill and offered sharp objections to the bill's provisions, saying it would slow down drug approvals. Republicans also argued that the banning of drug advertisements on television was "unconstitutional."

avastinGenentech and FDA notified healthcare professionals of important new safety information regarding tracheoesophageal (TE) fistula formation in a recent clinical study in patients with limited-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

This multicenter, non-randomized, single-arm phase II clinical trial study combined chemotherapy and radiation plus Avastin.

There have been two confirmed serious adverse events of TE fistula (one fatal) reported in the first 29 patients enrolled in this study. A third, fatal event (upper aerodigestive tract hemorrhage and de ath of unknown cause), was also reported, in which TE fistula was suspected but not confirmed. All three events occurred during the Avastin maintenance phase of the study in the context of persistent esophagitis. Additionally, six other cases of TE fistula have also been reported in other lung and esophageal cancer studies using Avastin and chemotherapy alone or with concurrent radiation treatment.