Aug. 19, 2014, 12:51 PM
- Venture Capital firm Rock Health recently added eight digital health companies to its portfolio increasing its total to 55. The new additions include Welkin Health, whose Android app enables diabetics to access coaching and advice from the company's educators, Acumen which uses smartphone video for evaluating children with neurological disorders and two providers of platforms that ensure compliance with patient privacy laws.
- Another firm in the line up is Augmedix, which uses Google Glass to assist doctors in getting information to electronic record systems and to retrieve information verbally.
- Rock Health is partnering with Abbott Labs (ABT +0.2%), General Electric and Genentech (OTCQX:RHHBY +0.6%) to provide advice and resources to the portfolio companies. Other partners include Blue Shield of California and Deloitte Consulting.
Aug. 18, 2014, 4:55 PM
- According to the WSJ's Helen Thomas, Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY +0.7%) reported interest in spending $10B for the 40% of Chugai Pharmaceutical it doesn't own reflects more on what's not out there than what is. The lack of attractive acquisition candidates due to bullish valuations, in Roche's view, means that it makes more sense deploy its money into a known quantity. In other words, it doesn't want to overpay for a new company that fails to reach its potential.
- Chugai's shares are no bargain, either, so Roche's timing is surprising if, indeed, it decides to make the move. Ms. Thomas thinks Roche's substantial cash horde may burning a hole in its corporate pocket. A special dividend to shareholders appears unlikely.
Aug. 18, 2014, 4:18 AM
- Despite Chugai Pharmaceutical (OTCPK:CHGCY) denying a rumor on Saturday of a Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) takeover, Chugai shares jumped 15% to close at ¥3,825 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, recording the stock's largest advance in more than 14 years.
- Sources say Roche will acquire the 38% stake of Chugai stock it does not already own for $10B, although the company says it is not even discussing the idea with Roche.
Aug. 17, 2014, 8:12 AM
- Chugai Pharmaceutical (OTCPK:CHGCY) denies a rumor that surfaced Friday, which stated that Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) was in talks to buy the 40% stake of Chugai that it does not already own for $10B.
- The media report "is not based on any announcement made by Chugai or Roche," says the Japanese company in a news release.
- Previously: Roche may gobble up the rest of Chugai
Aug. 15, 2014, 12:47 PM
Aug. 15, 2014, 7:13 AM
- In a regulatory filing, Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) discloses that yesterday an arbitration panel ruled that Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY +1.2%) is not entitled to any damages or relief in its arbitration case filed in March 2013 against the company and Pharmasset pertaining to rights to sofosbuvir. Roche claimed that pursuant to its collaboration agreement with Pharmasset it had exclusive rights to sofosbuvir because its is a prodrug of a uridine monophosphate analog and a prodrug of the cytidine analog PSI-6130. Roche further claimed it had an exclusive license to a patent covering sofosbuvir and that Gilead infringed on that patent by selling sofosbuvir.
- Gilead and Pharmasset filed their response in April 2013. The arbitration hearing was held in June 2014.
Aug. 14, 2014, 4:06 PM
- The FDA approves the label expansion of Genentech's (OTCQX:RHHBY +1%) Avastin (bevacizumab) (in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan) for the treatment of women with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer. Avastin is now approved for five distinct tumor types.
Aug. 13, 2014, 1:25 PM
- Shares of InterMune (ITMN +14.3%) spike on a 2x surge in volume in response to rumors that Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY +0.4%), Sanofi (SNY +0.7%), Glaxo (GSK -0.1%) and Actelion (OTCPK:ALIOF) (OTC:ACIOY) are preparing offers. Trading in ITMN shares was halted briefly at 1:00 pm EDT due to abnormal volatility.
Aug. 13, 2014, 7:27 AM
- After consulting with regulators and receiving updated information regarding the ongoing clinical study, Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) cancels its commercial agreement with Israeli firm Chiasma pertaining to the development of an oral drug to treat acromegaly (gigantism) despite good results in Phase 3 clinical trials.
- The agreement, signed in February 2013, would have paid Chiasma $600M had it been fully implemented. As it stands, the company received a $65M advance and several tens of millions in milestone payments.
- Roche's decision surprises Chiasma CEO Roni Mamluk. She says, "The results of the Phase 3 trials were excellent and a celebratory event was held in June to publicize them, attended by all Roche's senior executives who were all happy and satisfied. There was no problem with the results. What is apparently involved is a strategic decision by them whether or not to become more deeply involved in the endocrinology sector."
- Chiasma is now preparing to submit its regulatory filing with the FDA and plans to launch the product in 2015. It still seeks a commercial partner but can go it alone if necessary.
Aug. 8, 2014, 11:55 AM
- Genentech (OTCQX:RHHBY +0.5%) submits a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) to the FDA for Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. It is currently cleared for diabetic macular edema, wet age-related macular degeneration and macular edema following retinal vein occlusion.
Aug. 8, 2014, 7:36 AM
- The British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) decides that Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY) breast cancer drug Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine) is too expensive for routine use by the National Health Service despite the company's offering of a discount.
- NICE determines what drugs will be used by the NHS. It originally called for the company to reduce the price back in April. Kadcyla is a treatment for women with refractory metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer where surgical resection is not an option. It costs almost 91,000 pounds ($152,800) for a full course of treatment.
- Roche says it has offered a significant discount and will appeal NICE's decision.
Aug. 6, 2014, 7:47 AM
- The European Commission approves Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY) Avastin (bevacizumab) in combination with paclitaxel, topotecan or pegylated liposomal doxorubicin chemotherapy as a treatment for women with recurrent ovarian cancer that is resistant to platinum-containing chemotherapy.
- The approval is based on a Phase 3 clinical trial that demonstrated median progression-free survival (PFS) in the bevacizumab plus chemo cohort of 6.7 months compared to 3.4 months in the chemo only group.
Aug. 4, 2014, 11:47 AM
- Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY -0.6%) agrees to acquire Copenhagen-based Santaris Pharma for an upfront fee of $250M in cash and up to $200M in development-related milestone payments.
- Santaris' proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid platform enables the development of RNA-targeting therapeutics.
- The transaction is expected to close this month.
Jul. 30, 2014, 9:57 AM
- Incyte Corp. (INCY +1.8%) and Genentech (OTCQX:RHHBY +0.8%) enter into a clinical trial agreement to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of Incyte's oral indoleamine dioxygenase-1 (IDO1) inhibitor, INCB24360, in combination with Genetech's PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, MPDL3280A, in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
- Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will collaborate on a non-exclusive basis. Incyte will run the study and the results will determine whether or not to proceed with development.
Jul. 29, 2014, 7:02 AM
- The European Commission approves Roche's (OTCQX:RHHBY) Gazyvaro (Gazyva outside the EU and Switzerland) (obinutuzumab) in combination with chlorambucil chemotherapy for the treatment of patients with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia who have comorbities making them unsuitable for an intensive therapy (full-dose fludarabine).
- The company plans to launch the product this year.
Jul. 28, 2014, 10:04 AM
- AstraZeneca (AZN -0.1%) signs up Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY -0.3%) to develop a companion diagnostic test for its lung cancer drug candidate AZD9291, the successor to its current offering Iressa (gefitinib). The test will be performed on a peripheral blood sample instead of a lung tissue biopsy.
- It signs up Qiagen (QGEN -0.8%) to develop a companion diagnostic test for Iressa, also based on a peripheral blood sample.
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Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and... More
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