4 Healthcare Stock Stories Making Headlines On a Busy News Day

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE): Closing price $28.01

On Tuesday, Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. announced at the ESC Congress 2013, organized by the European Society of Cardiology, the results of a post-hoc subanalysis from the Phase III ARISTOTLE trial, which was created to show the efficacy and safety of Eliquis versus warfarin for the prevention of stroke or systemic embolism in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation patients. The ARISTOTLE trial excluded patients having clinically significant mitral stenosis, or a mechanical prosthetic heart valve. This subanalysis studied Eliquis compared to warfarin in patients with or without other types of valvular heart disease, who were eligible for enrollment in the ARISTOTLE trial, including mitral regurgitation, aortic regurgitation, mitral stenosis, aortic stenosis, tricuspid regurgitation, or valve surgery. Those 4,808 patients formed the center of this subanalysis.

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GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK): Closing price $51.77

A Chinese police inquiry into the United Kingdom drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has found that alleged bribery of doctors in China was coordinated by the firm, and was not the work of individual employees, according to state media on Tuesday. In July, police detained four senior Chinese executives at GSK regarding allegations that the company delivered as much as $490 million to travel agencies to facilitate bribes to doctors and officials, in order to boost the sale of its medicines. The official Xinhua news agency reported, “It is becoming clear that it is organised by GSK China rather than… sales people’s individual behavior.” The drug company said that the matters identified in the Xinhua report would be a “clear breach of our corporate values” and that it shared the desire of the Chinese authorities to root out wrongdoing.

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VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS): Closing price $12.90

Vivus said Tuesday that its new Chief Executive Anthony P. Zook has resigned as CEO and also from the VIVUS board, effective today, due to recurring problems connected with a previously-diagnosed medical condition. Following consultations with his physician, Zook decided that he must center his attention on a resolution of this condition. The VIVUS board has named a former senior executive at Johnson & Johnson, Seth H. Z. Fischer, to serve as its CEO, also effective today. Fischer will also join the VIVUS board.

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Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN): Closing price $111.01

Amgen and Cytokinetics Inc. on Tuesday announced the first presentation of data from the ATOMIC-AHF (Acute Treatment with Omecamtiv Mecarbil to Increase Contractility in Acute Heart Failure) study at the ESC Congress 2013, organized by the European Society of Cardiology, in Amsterdam. ATOMIC-AHF consisted of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study which enrolled 613 patients hospitalized with acute heart failure treated for 48 hours with omecamtiv mecarbil or placebo, and designed to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and potential efficacy of an intravenous formulation of omecamtiv mecarbil in patients with AHF. The study failed to attain its primary endpoint of dyspnea (shortness of breath) response, as measured by the 7-point Likert scale through 48 hours, but exhibited favorable dose and concentration-related trends on dyspnea response.

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