Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Top pharma news of the day

Bristol-Myers spins off Mead Johnson Nutrition

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. has decided to spin off its 83 percent stake in Mead Johnson Nutrition in a deal valued at up to about $6.5 billion. Bristol-Myers Squibb wants to continue raising money to purchase and to develop innovative biotech drugs that can compensate expected revenue loss when Plavix faces generic competition after patent expiration.

More info: Bloomberg

Study Questions Efectiveness of Merck’s Zetia

Abbott's Niaspan, a proprietary formulation of niacin, was compared to Merck’s Zetia in heart patients. Zetia (ezetimibe) is a newer drug that reduces bad cholesterol. Control of high cholesterol in patients taking a statin plus the old niacin was superior in reducing buildup in the carotid artery to those taking the same statin plus the newer Zetia.

The results of the study were published by The New England Journal of Medicine and were presented last Sunday in Orlando at an annual meeting of the American Heart Association.

Although these results are not definitive, suppose a new setback for Merck in the pursuit of proving that Zetia and Vytorin may prevent clogged arteries and heart attacks above and beyond statins as single treatment.

More info: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes

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