Genentech‘s Raptiva: Trouble – The FDA said today that patients taking the Genentech drug Raptiva are at risk of developing a potentially fatal condition known as PML, or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. The drug’s label already carried a warning about this possibility. But last week, Genentech sent a letter to alert doctors that a third case of PML had been confirmed in a Raptiva patient, following two other cases reported last fall. Meanwhile, Roche still raising cash to try to take over Genentech.
U.S. government joins in on whistleblower suit against J&J biz unit Scios – The U.S. government is joining two lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and its Scios unit, accusing the companies of promoting heart failure drug Natrecor for unapproved uses, the Department of Justice said on Thursday. The drug is approved to treat patients with acutely decompensated congestive heart failure who experience shortness of breath. But DOJ officials said in a statement their investigation found Scios aggressively began marketing the drug to patients with less severe heart failure soon after its approval in 2001.
Crestor cuts stroke risk in half (Jupiter study) – A new analysis from the JUPITER study presented today at the International Stroke Conference (ISC) in San Diego, California describes details of the stroke data according to gender, ethnicity and baseline risk factors. This data adds to the primary analysis of the JUPITER study which demonstrated that CRESTOR® (rosuvastatin calcium) 20mg significantly reduced the risk of stroke by nearly half (48%; p=0.002), compared to placebo among men and women with elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) but low to normal cholesterol levels.
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