Merck, Roche move on hepatitis C sales deal. Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 17 May 2011 19:59
Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on May 17, 2011.

Merck & Co Inc (NYSE:MRK) will promote its Victrelis hepatitis C drug with Roche Holding AG (OTC:RHHBY) in the United States, a partnership that could give the medicine a competitive edge against another new treatment deemed more effective.

Victrelis will go against Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc's (NASDAQ:VRTX) telaprevir, or Incivek, in the multibillion-dollar hepatitis C market.

Incivek, which demonstrated a cure rate as high as 79 percent in clinical trials, is expected to win U.S. approval next week. The Merck drug cured 66 percent of patients in its pivotal studies, while current standard treatments cure only 40 percent or less.

Merck and Roche compete in selling their own forms of pegylated interferon, an injectable protein that has long been used alongside anti-viral pill ribavirin to attack the hepatitis C virus.

Roche's interferon, Pegasys, has roughly 75 percent market share compared with 25 percent for Merck's brand, called Peg-Intron. Either of the drugs must be used as part of the underlying treatment with Victrelis, along with ribavirin.

Also Tuesday:

ACCESS PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. (OTCBB: ACCP), a biopharmaceutical company leveraging its proprietary drug-delivery platforms to develop treatments in areas of oncology, diabetes, and RNAi, announced that it had made significant progress with the commercial introduction of MuGard in the radiation oncology and medical oncology communities.  

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) today announced primary results of a pivotal Phase 3 trial ('147) demonstrating that XGEVA™ (denosumab) significantly increased bone metastasis-free survival for more than four months in men with castrate-resistant metastatic prostate cancer that has not yet spread to bone.

Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: AMPE) ("Ampio" or the "Company"), a clinical stage developer of new uses for previously approved drugs and new molecular entities ("NMEs"), announces that its common stock has been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market.  

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ("Anavex") (OTCBB: AVXL) today commented on new diagnostic criteria and guidelines for Alzheimer's disease published recently by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Alzheimer's Association, which have been updated for the first time in more than 25 years.

Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. (OTCBB: APDN), a provider of DNA-based anti-counterfeiting technology and product authentication solutions, announces that it has signed an agreement with RedWeb Technologies giving the company exclusive rights in North America to distribute the Sentry 500 Intruder Spray Systems embedded with SigNature DNA.

BioMedical Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. ("BMTS") (OTCBB: BMTL) is pleased to announce that under the new management of Founder Jon Bricken and President and Chairman Gex "Jay" F. Richardson, the company's 2011 first quarter net loss has decreased 81% over the same period in 2010.

BioMedical Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. ("BMTS") (OTCQB: BMTL)
is pleased to announce a revolutionary medical waste disposal system rental program for its Demolizer® II machine.

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO) and (NYSE: BIO.B), a multinational manufacturer and distributor of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced the European and Canadian launch of its BioPlex® 2200 Antiphospholipid Syndrome IgG, IgM, and IgA kits for use on its BioPlex® 2200 system.

China Botanic Pharmaceutical Inc. (NYSE AMEX:CBP) ("China Botanic" or the "Company"), a developer, manufacturer and distributor of botanical products, bio-pharmaceuticals and traditional Chinese medicines ("TCM") in China, today announced that the Company successfully showcased its all-natural products at the 65th PHARMACHINA fair ("the fair") recently held in Chengdu, China.

Codexis, Inc. (Nasdaq:CDXS) today announced the company will participate in three investor conferences during June.

FONAR Corporation (NASDAQ: FONR), The Inventor of MR Scanning™, announced it has been notified by the NASDAQ Listing Panel that "the Company has met the requirements of the Panel's decision dated March 17, 2011 and the applicable requirements for listing on The NASDAQ Stock Market."

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE) and ProBioGen AG today announced the availability of Gibco® Freedom™ Cell Line Development Kits, a new line of royalty-free products that integrate cells, reagents, culture media and protocols to bring simplicity and flexibility, eliminating up to two months in the earliest stages of new biological drug development.

MedeFile International, Inc. (OTCQB: MDFI) (PINKSHEETS: MDFI), a leader in Internet-enabled Personal Health Record (iPHR) management solutions, today announced its financial results for the first quarter reporting period, ended March 31, 2011.

Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq:NEOG) announced today that William T. Boehm, a recently retired senior vice president of The Kroger Co. and former senior economist for the President's Council of Economic Advisors, was elected to Neogen's Board of Directors.

NeoStem, Inc. (NYSE Amex:NBS) ("NeoStem" or the "Company"),  an international biopharmaceutical company with product and service revenues, global research and development capabilities and operations in three distinct business units – U.S. adult stem cells, China adult stem cells, and China pharmaceuticals – announced today that an affiliated entity has entered into an agreement with Tianjin Nankai Hospital in the People's Republic of China (PRC) to offer NeoStem's licensed treatments for orthopedic applications.

NuVim, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: NUVM) a leading provider of nutritional refrigerated and shelf stable ready to drink beverages and powder mixes announced it has achieved further reductions in its administrative costs.

Ohr Pharmaceutical, Inc. (OTCBB: OHRP) today announced that it has been awarded a new Canadian patent (#2,434,060) that includes claims related to composition of matter, methods of manufacture, and the effects of immune modulation of its OHR/AVR118 compound.

OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:OGXI) announced today that Cameron Lawrence, OncoGenex' Director of Finance and Principal Accounting Officer, will be presenting at the UBS Global Specialty Pharmaceuticals Conference on Wednesday, May 25 at 10:00 a.m. BST (5:00 a.m. ET).

PAREXEL International Corporation (NASDAQ:PRXL), a leading global biopharmaceutical services provider, today announced that it will provide a live webcast of its Investor Day on Thursday, June 2, 2011, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (EDT).

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE:DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, announced today the successful completion of its acquisition of Celera Corporation (NASDAQ: CRA).

Radient Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NYSE Amex: RPC), a developer and global marketer of In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) cancer tests, today announced it has entered into a settlement agreement with the investors (the "Investors") of the Registered Direct Offering the Company closed in November 2009 (the "RDO").

Savanna East Africa, Inc.'s (PINKSHEETS: NVAE) corporate update Webcast scheduled for release later today from CEO Randell Torno is expected to highlight the return on investment (ROI) potential of the Company's small and medium enterprise (SME) sector strategy to add housing, healthcare and high tech capacity within developing economic regions.

Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ:SHPGY), the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire Advanced BioHealing, Inc.

Southern Home Medical Equipment, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: SHOM), a holding company providing healthcare services, staffing and equipment to medical institutions, announced today that based on strong organic growth and Encore franchisees revenue reports, the Company expects to generate $1.3 Million in corporate revenues for the year ending December 31, 2011.

Verenium Corporation (Nasdaq:VRNM), a leading industrial biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of high-performance enzymes, today announced that it received the CLARUS Award presented by MDB Capital Group at the second annual Bright Lights Conference in New York City on May 10th.

World Health Energy Holdings, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: WHEN)
, a public holding company operating in the alternative energy sector, announced today that the company's wholly owned subsidiary, GNE-India, has appointed Mr. Edward H. Blum to its advisory board.

"Featured Content" profiles are meant to provide awareness of these companies to investors in the small-cap and growth equity community and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy, sell or hold these securities. BiomedReports is not paid or compensated by newswires to disseminate or report news and developments about publicly traded companies, but may from time to time receive compensation for advertising, data, analytics and investor relation services from various entities and firms. Full disclosures should be read in the 'About Us Section'.

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