Monday, April 2, 2018

The Readout by Damian Garde & Meghana Keshavan

Welcome to The Readout, where we keep you on top of the latest in biotech. For more in-depth coverage of biopharma, subscribe to STAT Plus. On Twitter: @damiangarde@megkesh, and @statnews.


Readying our bio-emojis for Q2

let's get ready to bio-rumble. (stat)

Earnings are right around the corner, as are some key clinical trial readouts, so we’ve got a spanking-new emoji-enabled scorecard to help you track upcoming biopharma events of note. 

What’s on the docket? We’ll see if a sickle cell pill from Global Blood Therapeutics passes muster in the first bit of a pivotal trial, find out whether kidney cancer data from  Aveo Oncology’s tivozanib can merit approval, and — most exciting — watch for an immunotherapy showdown between Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Roche. 

Read more on STAT Plus.

Editor's pick: The bugs that manipulate cancer

We’re learning that microbes act as puppet masters in certain cancers, in that the makeup of the gut microbiota can dictate whether a therapy might succeed or fail. 

So we at STAT officially deign the oncologic study of these innumerable bugs in our bodies as the most compelling in STAT Madness 2018 — our bracket-style research competition. STAT’s Eric Boodman chatted with Dr. Jennifer Wargo of MD Anderson about how she discovered how microbes interact with immunotherapy. 

Read more. 

Retracting some CRISPR criticism

Remember that whole CRISPR kerfuffle last year, when a Nature Methods paper decried the tech — calling the off-target effects far more deleterious than previously imagined? 

Well, that was retracted. Nature concluded that the materials and methods (a.k.a., the mice and methods) were not quite up to par — and that the central claim of the paper was not sufficiently supported by the data.

It's a win, to be sure, for companies like Editas Medicine and Intellia Therapeutics, whose stock fell after the paper's publication. 

Read more. 

Laura Ingraham's advertorial headache

no aspirin for you. (twitter)

Bayer severed funding for polarizing media personality Laura Ingraham, the pharma giant announced this weekend on Twitter. This was the 16th company to pull support from the Fox News host, who last week came under fire for mocking the grade point average of Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg. He, in turn, tweeted out a list of Ingraham’s advertisers, who have been bailing on her one by one. 

More reads

  • Drug companies want Supreme Court to take eye-drop dispute. (STAT)
  • Wholesale drug prices may be rising, but rebates are taking a bigger bite. (STAT)
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