Reuters Health News Summary
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Illumina forecasts flat 2024 sales as sluggish demand drags on
Illumina on Thursday forecast its annual core business revenue to be nearly flat compared to fiscal year 2023 as subdued demand for its genetic testing tools and diagnostics products extends into this year. The gene sequencing machine maker has witnessed a year of sluggish demand for its tools and services due to cautious customer spending and a protracted recovery in its key market, China. The company's fourth-quarter revenue was $1.12 billion, compared with an estimate of $1.09 billion, helped by strong demand for its consumables and DNA sequencing instruments, NovaSeq X. It shipped 79 units of the instrument during the quarter and 352 for the full year 2023. The gene sequencing company said it is focusing its financial outlook on core Illumina, as the specific timing and impact of its Grail divestment remains uncertain.
US Senate Democrats grill pharma CEOs on drug prices
U.S. Senate Democrats grilled three top pharmaceutical executives over the high cost of prescription drugs on Thursday but failed to extract any commitments from them to lower prices.
Bristol Myers Squibb CEO Chris Boerner, Merck CEO Robert Davis, and Johnson & Johnson CEO Joaquin Duato appeared before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), with Davis and Duato only agreeing to do so last week in response to a subpoena threat.
Catalent sales edge past estimates as focus shifts to Novo deal
Contract drug manufacturer Catalent inched past Wall Street estimates for second-quarter revenue on Friday, days after it agreed to a $16.5-billion buyout offer from Novo Nordisk's parent firm. The New Jersey-based firm is the main supplier of fill-finish work - involving filling and packaging syringes and injection pens in sterile conditions - for Novo's popular weight-loss drug, Wegovy.
US FDA staff raises no new concerns about Abbott's heart device
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff reviewers did not raise any new concerns on Friday over the safety and effectiveness of Abbott's heart valve repair device designed for patients who are at risk for surgery. The assessment comes ahead of the FDA's independent expert panel meeting on Tuesday, which will make recommendations on whether or not to clear the use of the device, TriClip, in patients with tricuspid regurgitation (TR).
Roche cutting jobs in product development - media
Roche is cutting 345 jobs, Swiss website Muula reported, as the drugs company responds to lower profit posted for 2023 and a more cautious outlook for the year ahead. The jobs will go in the product development area, and corresponded to about 6% of the workforce in the area, Muula said.
High-dose opioid reversal spray no better than lower dose in field, US study finds
A high-dose version of the opioid reversal spray naloxone, made by Hikma Pharmaceuticals, did not result in an increased survival rate compared with lower-dose versions of the drug when administered in emergency situations by New York law enforcement, according to a U.S. study. The analysis also suggests that those given the higher 8 milligram strength spray were more than twice as likely to experience opioid withdrawal symptoms compared to other sprays such as Narcan that use a 4 mg dose.
Moderna, Bayer-backed Metagenomi stock drops 32% on Nasdaq debut
Shares of Metagenomi Technologies, a genetic medicines company backed by Bayer Healthcare and Moderna, slumped 32% in their Nasdaq debut on Friday. The stock opened for trading at $10.25 compared with the IPO price of $15 per share.
Moderna shares slide on concerns over drop in RSV vaccine efficacy
Moderna fell as much as 7% on Friday after Wall Street analysts raised concerns over faster declines in the efficacy of its experimental respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine when compared with rival shots from GSK and Pfizer. Data posted on Thursday ahead of an RSV conference next week showed an efficacy of about 63% after 8.6 months in preventing RSV-related respiratory disease, down from 84% at 3.3 months.
Bayer CEO says company stands behind glyphosate
Bayer's CEO said on Friday that the healthcare and crop chemicals group continues to firmly back its glyphosate weedkiller even after a recent courtroom loss in U.S. litigation over an alleged carcinogenic effect. When asked whether Bayer would alter its legal strategy, CEO Bill Anderson said in a media call that glyphosate is approved and deemed safe by regulators in every major jurisdiction.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)