Posts Tagged ‘roche’

Fever to Harness RNA Interference Cools – NYTimes.com

Drugmakers’ Fever for the Power of RNA Interference Has Cooled

By ANDREW POLLACK

When RNA interference first electrified biologists several years ago, pharmaceutical companies rushed to harness what looked like a swift and surefire way to develop new drugs.

Billions of dollars later, however, some of those same companies are now losing their enthusiasm for RNAi, as it is called. And that is raising doubts about how quickly, if at all, the Nobel Prize-winning technique for turning off specific genes will yield the promised bounty of innovative medicines.

The biggest bombshell was dropped in November, when the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche said it would end its efforts to develop drugs using RNAi, after it had invested half a billion dollars in the field over four years.

Just last week, as part of a broader research cutback, Pfizer decided to shut down its 100-person unit working on RNAi and related technologies. Abbott Laboratories has also quietly shelved its RNAi drug development work.

“In 2005 and 2006, there was a very sudden buildup of expectation that RNAi was going to cure many diseases in a very short time frame,” said Dr. Johannes Fruehauf, vice president for research at Aura Biosciences, a small company pursuing the field. “Some of the hype, I believe, is going away and a more realistic view is setting in.”

The issue is that while drugs working through the RNAi mechanism can indeed shut off genes, it has been difficult to deliver such drugs to the cells where they are needed. At a time when hard-pressed pharmaceutical companies are already scaling back research expenditures, RNAi is losing out to alternatives that seem closer to producing marketable drugs.

“I have no doubt that at a certain point in time RNAi will make it to the market,” said Klaus Stein, head of therapeutic modalities for Roche. But he added, “When we looked into this, we came to the conclusion that we have opportunities that have higher priorities.”

More here: Fever to Harness RNA Interference Cools – NYTimes.com.


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Cancer Treatments: The New Frontier

Cancer Treatments: The New Frontier

Courtesy of Pharmboy

Cancer is characterized by a group of abnormal cells that grow and replicate uncontrollably. These cells’ rapid replication allows them to invade adjacent tissues and organs and even spread to other parts of the body. As they replicate, they can crowd out organs, preventing the body’s essential processes from occurring normally. Cancer, if left untreated, can hinder the body’s organs from performing their functions enough to cause death.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2009.  Figures 1 and 2 show the Male and Female breakdown of different cancer types from the CDC (as of 2006) and we can understand why now prostate and breast cancer research top the list.  Next comes lung, and Figure 3 shows a adenocarcinoma in the lung.

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

  • Heart disease: 631,636
  • Cancer: 559,888
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 137,119
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,583
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 121,599
  • Diabetes: 72,449
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 72,432
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,326
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,344
  • Septicemia: 34,234

  Figure 1. Top 10 Cancers: Male 

Figure 2. Top 10 Cancers: Female

Figure 3.  Adenocarcinoma – Lung cancer

For about 40 years, the pharmaceutical and government sponsored research have waged a war on cancer, and many think that it has been a failure as the age-adjusted mortality rate for cancer is essentially unchanged over that time.  But that’s a deceptive metric.  S. Dubner points out that the "flat mortality rate actually hides some good news. Over the same period, age-adjusted mortality from cardiovascular disease has plummeted, from nearly 600 people per 100,000 to well below 300. What does this mean? Many people who in previous generations would have died from heart disease are now living long enough to die from cancer instead."

BusinessWeek had an article on the costs of life, and as the population ages and the baby boomers start to retire, how are we to think about the costs associated with fighting cancer?

Eric C. Sun et al. (“An Economic Evaluation of the War on Cancer” (link) 2010) attempt to measure the degree to which R&D spending on cancer has benefited not only the life expectancy, but also the social and economic value to the economy.

For decades, the U.S. public and private sectors have committed substantial resources towards cancer research, but the societal


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Flu Update: Tamiflu resistance and Ukraine update

Roche’s Tamiflu and the Swine Flu 

By Ilene  

Illustration protection kit against Swine flu (Flu A H1N1) with Tamiflu - France

Part I: Tamiflu resistance
Part 2: Flu virus changes/Ukraine/update  

Tamiflu (oseltamivir) has been a big seller this year, with global sales soaring 362% to $1.93 billion in the first nine months. Driven by the threats of a swine flu pandemic, governments have been stockpiling the drug to the tune of $1.32 billion. (See Efficacy of Roche’s Flu Drug Tamiflu In Doubt, David Phillips): 

According to David Phillips:

Allegations have surfaced that Swiss drug maker Roche has misled governments and physicians alike on the efficacy of its popular drug Tamiflu in preventing complications, such as hospitalization from pneumonia or death, in otherwise healthy people afflicted with the flu — seasonal or the H1N1 (swine flu) version. If the company is unconvincing in refuting such claims, more than its reputation could be sullied.

Leveraging global concerns over avian and swine flu, Roche has seamlessly raised awareness of the purported need to treat the complications associated with the seasonal flu too. The company has successfully challenged conventional wisdom — that “rest and aspirin” be the preferred treatment option for seasonal flu — with marketing campaigns that resonate with reassuring efficacy claims for Tamiflu (oseltamivir)… [See Tamiflu media updates].

A scarcity of published data in the medical literature motivated the nonprofit research group Cochrane Collaboration to investigate — and verify — Tamiflu’s alleged efficacy claims, particularly on the drug’s effect on the risk of hospital admission and complications in otherwise healthy people with influenza. The Cochrane review and a linked investigation undertaken jointly by the British Medical Journal and the local Channel 4 News cast doubt on the efficacy and safety of Tamiflu — and also raises disturbing questions on the drug’s promotional and marketing activities condoned by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic.

Investigators disclosed that an often cited meta-analysis used as evidentiary support was based entirely on ten trials funded by Roche, only two of which were published in peer reviewed journals. The Cochrane reviewers could find no independently funded trials of Tamiflu for healthy adults. Troubling, too, former employees of the medical communcations company hired by Roche were alleged to have ghost written some of the manuscripts….

Continue reading Efficacy of Roche’s Flu Drug Tamiflu In Doubt here .

As noted…
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Roche’s Tamiflu and the Swine Flu

Roche’s Tamiflu and the Swine Flu

By Ilene

Tamiflu (oseltamivir) has been a big seller this year, with global sales soaring to $1.93 billion in the first nine months of 2009, a 362 percent increase. Driven by the threats of a swine flu pandemic, governments have been stockpiling the drug to the tune of $1.32 billion.  (Efficacy of Roche’s Flu Drug Tamiflu In Doubt)

According to David Phillips:

Allegations have surfaced that Swiss drug maker Roche has misled governments and physicians alike on the efficacy of its popular drug Tamiflu in preventing complications, such as hospitalization from pneumonia or death, in otherwise healthy people afflicted with the flu — seasonal or the H1N1 (swine flu) version. If the company is unconvincing in refuting such claims, more than its reputation could be sullied.

Leveraging global concerns over avian and swine flu, Roche has seamlessly raised awareness of the purported need to treat the complications associated with the seasonal flu too. The company has successfully challenged conventional wisdom — that “rest and aspirin” be the preferred treatment option for seasonal flu — with marketing campaigns that resonate with reassuring efficacy claims for Tamiflu (oseltamivir): reductions in hospital admissions, secondary complications (including bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinusitis), and respiratory tract infections (requiring antibiotics) in otherwise healthy individuals of 61 percent, 67 percent, and 55 percent, respectively, according to Tamiflu media updates.

A scarcity of published data in the medical literature motivated the nonprofit research group Cochrane Collaboration to investigate — and verify — Tamiflu’s alleged efficacy claims, particularly on the drug’s effect on the risk of hospital admission and complications in otherwise healthy people with influenza. The Cochrane review and a linked investigation undertaken jointly by the British Medical Journal and the local Channel 4 News cast doubt on the efficacy and safety of Tamiflu — and also raises disturbing questions on the drug’s promotional and marketing activities condoned by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic.

Investigators disclosed that an often cited meta-analysis used as evidentiary support was based entirely on ten trials funded by Roche, only two of which were published in peer reviewed journals. The Cochrane reviewers could find no independently funded trials of Tamiflu for healthy adults. Troubling, too, former employees of the medical communcations company hired


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Our Chatty Cathy Congress

Our Chatty Cathy Congress

chatty cathyBy Karen Tumulty, courtesy of TIME

Those of us former little girls of a certain age can remember a doll that we all had to have. She was called Chatty Cathy, and if you pulled a string in her neck, she would say things like "Please brush my hair" and "Let’s have a party!"

It turns out that Chatty Cathy and the United States House of Representatives have a lot in common. Except in Congress’ case, it is the biotechnology industry that has been pulling the string.

In today’s New York Times, Robert Pear has a story that tells us how it happened that more than a dozen lawmakers made virtually the same statement in the official record of the House health care debate. (It’s worth knowing that these are not necessarily speeches they gave on the floor itself, but rather, what gets printed in the Congressional Record when they ask permission to "revise and extend" their remarks. So no one actually hears them say it, but it does go into the official history of the event, and it does put them firmly on record. It also tells the lobbyists’ paymasters that they are getting good return on their investment.)

In this case, the statement in question had actually been written by the biotechnolgy industry--which, as Michael Scherer and I wrote a few weeks back, has been a big winner in the health reform debate, rolling over even such powerful figures as Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman to get its way. Pear (a reporter whose digging skills are legendary among those of us who have been around Washington a while) tells us:

Genentech, a subsidiary of the Swiss drug giant Roche, estimates that 42 House members picked up some of its talking points — 22 Republicans and 20 Democrats, an unusual bipartisan coup for lobbyists.

In an interview, Representative Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat of New Jersey, said: “I regret that the language was the same. I did not know it was.” He said he got his statement from his staff and “did not know where they got the information from.”

Members of Congress submit statements for publication in the Congressional Record all the time, often with a decorous request to “revise and extend my remarks.” It is unusual for so


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Phil's Favorites

Signs of a Bottom

 

Signs of a Bottom

Courtesy of 

The S&P 500 gained 6.4% last week, the second-best post-pandemic performance for the large-cap index.  For a moment there, we were out of bear-market territory, bouncing to an 18.5% decline from all-time highs. Now, it’s a bear market again ¯\_(?)_/¯

All silliness aside, calls for a bottom appear premature.

Michael Cembalest and his team did some work on what you want to be on the lookout for, and we’re not there qui...



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ValueWalk

Let General Mills Command A Position In Your Defensive Portfolio

By MarketBeat. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Recession Resistant General Mills Rockets Higher Outlook

We’ve been interested in General Mills (NYSE:GIS) for some time now and we couldn’t be happier with the FQ4 2022 results. The company not only beat on the top and bottom line but issued favorable guidance in the face of mounting economic headwinds. The takeaway here is that defensive consumer staple stocks like General Mills are among the best positioned for today’s times and General Mills is among the best picks. Trading at only 18.5X it’s earnings outlook the stock is undervalued relative to its peers while paying an ...



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Zero Hedge

Why Is The VIX So Low? A Surprising Answer Emerges In The Market's Microstructure

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

One of the most frequent questions tossed around Wall Street trading desks (and strip clubs), and which was duly covered by Bloomberg recently in "Fear Has Gone Missing in Wall Street’s Slow-Motion Bear Market", is why despite the crushing bear market and the coming recession, does the VIX refuse to rise sustainably above 30, or in other words, why is the VIX so low?

As Goldman's Rocky Fishman wrote in a recent note "Option Markets Ta...



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Politics

Putin's propaganda is rooted in Russian history - and that's why it works

 

Putin’s propaganda is rooted in Russian history – and that’s why it works

Courtesy of Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager, Colorado State University and Evgeniya Pyatovskaya, University of South Florida

Russia’s war against Ukraine is pressing into its fifth month – despite several rounds of failed peace talks, and Western countries’ issuing severe economic sanctions against Russia.

The war isn’t happening just on Ukrainian soil. President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda is propelling...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Doc Copper Pattern Suggesting Another Huge Decline Is To Be Expected?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Looks like the historic run higher in copper prices may be taking a breather.

While we cannot say that the LONG-term rally is over. It definitely has put in an intermediate top.

Back in March, we wrote about this possibility in our article, “Is Copper Repeating Historic Double Top Price Pattern?” There have been two other historic double tops that have taken place in the past 20 years.

Well, here we are today and the double top pattern is breaking down and Doc Copper is on the ropes. Below is an updated ...



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Chart School

Gold Stocks Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold miners do well when gold is higher, and borrowing and gasoline costs are lower.

Lets start with a question: Why do governments own gold?

1) The need it to support their economy during an energy crisis. If their currency is collapsing oil producers will not take fiat for settlement, but they will accept gold.
2) While the US prints money the purchasing power of the US dollar is declining, hence gold is a hedge.

A particular market action which forces traders to move gold higher is when oil moves higher while the US dollar falls. This means the US dollar is losing purchasing power against oil, therefore gold will go higher as the demand for (1) above explodes. Some history, gold moved higher sharply in these years 2007, 2011, 2016, 2020. All ...

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Digital Currencies

Scams and cryptocurrency can go hand in hand - here's how they work and what to watch out for

 

Scams and cryptocurrency can go hand in hand – here’s how they work and what to watch out for

The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency transactions is ideal for con artists. seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Moment via Getty Images

Courtesy of Yaniv Hanoch, University of Southampton and Stacey Wood, Scripps College

When one of our students told us they were going to drop out of college ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

At last, COVID-19 shots for little kids - 5 essential reads

 

At last, COVID-19 shots for little kids – 5 essential reads

Millions of U.S. children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years will soon be eligible for COVID-19 shots. FatCamera/E+ via Getty Images

Courtesy of Amanda Mascarelli, The Conversation

For many parents of kids under age 5, a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine could not come soon enough. A full year and a half after shots first became available for adults, their wait is nearly over.

On June 17, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration ...



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Promotions

Phil: Be the House Not the Gambler at the Fintech Conference in Vegas

 

Phil gave an excellent, educational presentation called "Be the House Not the Gambler: Using Stock Options to Significantly Boost Your Portfolio Performance" at the FinTwit Conference hosted by Lupton Capital and Benzinga on May 14 in Las Vegas. The video is set to start playing at 5:30:45, when Phil takes the stage (but you can see previous presentations by backtracking).

AGENDA 
9:00 AM Opening Remarks with Jonah Lupton, Entrepreneur & Investor
9:05 AM Wagging the Dog: How to Profit From Derivative Driven Moves in the Market with Steven Place, Founder, Investingwithoptions.com
10:00 AM The MarketWebs & The Path of Least Resistance, Christian Fromhertz, CEO, The Tribeca Trade Group
10:55 AM Fireside Chat with Gareth Mann, Founder & CEO, AlphaStream & Spencer Israel, Executive Producer, Benzinga
11:25 AM Sponsor Pitch: Carolyn Bao, VP of Marke...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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