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News Breaks
March 31, 2014
13:41 EDTMRK, NVSNovartis rises after committee recommends early closure of study
Shares of drug maker Novartis (NVS) are climbing after the Data Monitoring Committee of its PARADIGM-HF study, which tested LCZ696 in comparison to patients who received standard care with enalapril, unanimously recommended early closure of the trial due to the drug's efficacy. WHAT'S NEW: Novartis announced that the committee unanimously recommended early closure of the study, indicating patients with chronic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction who received LCZ696 lived longer without being hospitalized for heart failure than those who received standard care with ACE-inhibitor enalapril. Based on the compelling efficacy and primary endpoint having been met, the trial was closed early. This follows two previous interim analyses that showed the safety profile of LCZ696 was acceptable. One of the two principal investigators, Dr. Milton Packer, said, "The finding that treatment with LCZ696 was superior to currently recommended doses of enalapril has profound implications for the care of patients with chronic heart failure. We now have compelling evidence that supports LCZ696 as a new cornerstone in the management of chronic heart failure." The company said the results of PARADIGM-HF will be submitted to a major medical conference for presentation and Novartis will now initiate discussions with global health authorities regarding approval for marketing. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Novartis said that the PARADIGM-HF study was initiated in December 2009 and currently is the largest clinical trial in heart failure ever undertaken. LCZ696 is a medicine that acts in multiple ways on the neurohormonal systems of the heart, blocking receptors exerting harmful effects while simultaneously promoting protective mechanisms. LCZ696 is thought to reduce the strain on the failing heart, promoting the ability of the heart muscle to recover. LCZ696 is the second treatment being developed by Novartis for patients with heart failure, along with RLX030 for acute heart failure. The standard ACE-inhibitor enalapril has been marketed as VASOTEC in the U.S. by Merck (MRK). Several companies sell generic enalapril under the name enalapril maleate tablets. PRICE ACTION: During afternoon trading, shares of Novartis were up by $3.31 or 4%, to $84.90.
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November 25, 2014
06:29 EDTNVSMallinckrodt says Questcor received subpoena from FTC in June
Mallinckrodt (MNK) disclosed in its quarterly regulatory filing that on June 11, Questcor received a subpoena and Civil Investigative Demand from the Federal Trade Commission seeking documentary materials and information regarding the FTC’s investigation into whether Questcor’s acquisition of certain rights to develop, market, manufacture, distribute, sell and commercialize Synacthen Depot from Novartis (NVS) violates the antitrust laws.
05:26 EDTNVSNovartis initiated with an Outperform at Exane BNP Paribas
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05:16 EDTNVSNovartis announces extension to FDA review period for MML compound LBH589
Novartis announced that the FDA has extended their priority review period by up to three months for the new drug application, or NDA, of LBH589 in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone for patients with previously treated multiple myeloma. The NDA for LBH589 was submitted to the FDA in March. In May, the FDA granted priority review status to LBH589, reducing the standard 12-month review period to eight months. The extension to the LBH589 NDA review period follows an FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee meeting earlier this month.
November 24, 2014
08:02 EDTMRKMerck submits NDA to Japanese PMDA for Omarigliptin
Merck announced that the company has submitted a new drug application for omarigliptin, its investigational once-weekly DPP-4 inhibitor for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, to the Japanese Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency. The new drug application for omarigliptin is based on a comprehensive clinical development program in Japan. The results from the first Phase 3 study of omarigliptin, conducted in Japan, were presented recently at the 50th European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting. Japan is the first country with a regulatory filing for omarigliptin. Worldwide, Merck is supporting omarigliptin with a clinical development program that includes nine Phase 3 clinical trials involving approximately 7,500 patients with type 2 diabetes in support of planned regulatory filings.
08:02 EDTNVSReceptos price target raised to $186 from $130 at Leerink
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07:33 EDTMRKMerck, NewLink enter licensing, collaboration agreement for Ebola vaccine
Merck (MRK) and NewLink Genetics (NLNK) announced that they have entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement to research, develop, manufacture, and distribute NewLink's investigational rVSV-EBOV vaccine candidate. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will be granted the exclusive rights to the rVSV-EBOV vaccine candidate as well as any follow-on products. The vaccine candidate is under an exclusive licensing arrangement with a wholly-owned subsidiary of NewLink Genetics. Under these license arrangements, the PHAC retains non-commercial rights pertaining to the vaccine candidate. Phase I clinical trials of the rVSV-EBOV vaccine are now underway at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the NIAID at the NIH. Additional Phase I studies are underway or planned to begin in the near future at clinical research centers in Switzerland, Germany, Kenya, and Gabon in a World Health Organization-coordinated effort, and in Canada by the Canadian Immunization Research Network.
07:31 EDTMRKMerck, NewLink Genetics enter into agreement for investigational Ebola vaccine
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06:32 EDTNVSGSK investors expected to vote on Novartis deal in December, Reuters reports
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05:13 EDTNVSNovartis drug Signifor approved in EU
Novartis announced that the European Commission has approved Signifor as a new long acting release formulation for once monthly intramuscular injection to treat adult patients with acromegaly for whom surgery is not an option or has not been curative and who are inadequately controlled on treatment with a first-generation somatostatin analogue, or SSA. Next-generation SSA Signifor offers the first alternative treatment option directly targeting the pituitary tumor for patients whose acromegaly remains inadequately controlled on currently available SSAs. Additional regulatory applications for the new long acting release formulation of Signifor have been filed worldwide for the treatment of acromegaly, including an application currently filed in the United States.
November 21, 2014
07:51 EDTMRKBofA/Merrill biotech analysts hold analyst/industry conference call
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05:22 EDTNVSNovartis Cosentyx receives positive CHMP opinion
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November 20, 2014
07:11 EDTMRKBofA/Merrill to hold a conference
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November 19, 2014
07:52 EDTMRKInforma Business Information to hold a conference
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November 18, 2014
06:39 EDTMRKAstraZeneca: 'Hard to comment' on whether Pfizer will come back, Reuters reports
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November 17, 2014
16:52 EDTNVSNovartis' LCZ696 could change course of heart failure for patients, study shows
New data on Novartis' investigational medicine, LCZ696, for patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction shows it has the potential to change the course of the disease for patients. In August, Novartis presented topline results from the landmark PARADIGM-HF study showing LCZ696 was superior to ACE inhibitor enalapril on key endpoints, including significantly reducing the risk of CV death or heart failure hospitalization. The new analyses being presented for the first time at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2014, with a paper being simultaneously published in Circulation, show that versus enalapril, LCZ696 significantly: reduced the risk of dying suddenly by 20% in HFrEF patients 45% of CV deaths and 36% of all cause deaths are sudden; reduced first and subsequent HFrEF hospitalizations by 21% and 23% respectively; reduced hospitalizations for a cardiovascular reason or for any reason both by 16%; reduced the need for more intense treatment at home by 16%; reduced emergency room visits because of rapid symptom worsening by 30%.
11:55 EDTMRKMerck says IMPROVE-IT study met all primary, secondary endpoints
Merck announced that the investigational IMPROVE-IT study met its primary and all secondary composite efficacy endpoints. In IMPROVE-IT, patients taking the LDL-cholesterol-lowering medicine VYTORIN – which combines simvastatin with the non-statin ZETIA -- experienced significantly fewer major cardiovascular events than patients treated with simvastatin alone. The results from this 18,144-patient study of high-risk patients presenting with acute coronary syndromes were presented today during the late-breaking clinical trials session at the American Heart Association 2014 Scientific Sessions. Merck plans to submit the data from IMPROVE-IT to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in mid-2015 to support a new indication for reduction of major cardiovascular events for VYTORIN and ZETIA. VYTORIN and ZETIA are currently indicated for use along with a healthy diet to reduce elevated LDL cholesterol in patients with hyperlipidemia. The current U.S. Prescribing Information for both products states that the effect of ezetimibe on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, alone or incremental to statin therapy, has not been determined.
11:06 EDTNVSLeerink biotech analysts hold an analyst/industry conference call
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08:34 EDTMRKMerck says IMPROVE-IT met primary endpoint
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November 16, 2014
15:07 EDTNVSNovartis says arthritis drug secukinumab met primary endpoint
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13:26 EDTMRKMerck: KEYTRUDA showed superiority to chemotherapy for primary endpoint of PFS
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