Bristol Myers boosts cancer drug portfolio with $4.1 bln Turning Point deal
June 3, 2022, 10:38 AM EDT
By Manas Mishra
June 3 (Reuters) – Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (BMY.N) said on Friday it will acquire drug developer Turning Point Therapeutics Inc. (TPTX.O) for $4.1 billion in cash to help bolster its arsenal of cancer drugs.
Turning Point’s lead drug, repotrectinib, targets mutations in certain proteins in the body that lead to unchecked cell growth.
Bristol Myers will pay $76 per Turning Point share, a 122.5% premium to its last closing price.
The deal comes at a time when a dearth of large acquisitions, clinical failures and investor exits following a gradual easing of the pandemic have hammered biotech stocks.
Wall Street analysts said the deal could help lift sector sentiment.
The deal “will surprise many investors who over the past year have begun to believe late-to-market targeted oncology drugs are likely to be commercial failures,” Stifel analyst Bradley Canino said.
Turning Point’s shares, which have fallen roughly 28% this year, more than doubled to $73.60 in early trading.
Repotrectinib belongs to a class of treatments known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and is being tested to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other advanced solid tumors.
However, the drug, if approved, will compete in a crowded market for lung cancer treatments and contend for market share with Bristol Myers’ own drug Opdivo, and other cancer drugs made by Roche (ROG.S), Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) and AstraZeneca (AZN.L).
Bristol Myers said it expects repotrectinib to become a standard-of-care therapy for certain patients with NSCLC, a lucrative market for drug developers, when it is approved.
Sales of Bristol Myers’ Opdivo have fallen below those of rival Merck’s blockbuster treatment, Keytruda.
Bristol Myers expects U.S. approval for repotrectinib in the second half of 2023.
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War, peace and security: The pandemic’s impact on women and girls in Nepal and Sri Lanka
The impacts of COVID-19 must be incorporated into women, peace and security planning in order to improve the lives of women and girls in postwar countries…
Attention to the pandemic’s impacts on women has largely focused on the Global North, ignoring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka, which continue to deal with prolonged effects of war. While the Nepalese Civil War concluded in 2006 and the Sri Lankan Civil War concluded in 2009, internal conflicts continue.
As scholars of gender and war, our work focuses on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. And our recently published paper examines COVID-19’s impacts on women and girls in Nepal and Sri Lanka, looking at policy responses and their repercussions on the women, peace and security agenda.
This pattern is even more pronounced in war-affected countries where the compounding factors of war and the pandemic leave women generally more vulnerable. These nations exist at the margins of the international system and suffer from what the World Bank terms “fragility, conflict and violence.”
Women, labour and gender-based violence
Gendered labour precarity is not new to Nepal or Sri Lanka and the pandemic has only eroded women’s already poor economic prospects.
Prior to COVID-19, Tharshani (pseudonym), a Sri Lankan mother of three and head of her household, was able to make ends meet. But when the pandemic hit, lockdowns prevented Tharshani from selling the chickens she raises for market. She was forced to take loans from her neighbours and her family had to skip meals.
Some 1.7 million women in Sri Lanka work in the informal sector, where no state employment protections exist and not working means no wages. COVID-19 is exacerbating women’s struggles with poverty and forcing them to take on debilitating debts.
Although Sri Lankan men also face increased labour precarity, due to gender discrimination and sexism in the job market, women are forced into the informal sector — the jobs hardest hit by the pandemic.
The pandemic has also led to women and girls facing increased gender-based violence.
In Nepal, between March 2020 and June 2021, there was an increase in cases of gender-based violence. Over 1,750 incidents were reported in the media, of which rape and sexual assault represented 82 per cent. Pandemic lockdowns also led to new vulnerabilities for women who sought out quarantine shelters — in Lamkichuha, Nepal, a woman was allegedly gang-raped at a quarantine facility.
Gender-based violence is more prevalent among women and girls of low caste in Nepal and the pandemic has made it worse. The Samata Foundation reported 90 cases of gender-based violence faced by women and girls of low caste within the first six months of the pandemic.
While COVID-19 recovery efforts are generally focused on preparing for future pandemics and economic recovery, the women, peace and security agenda can also address the needs of some of those most marginalized when it comes to COVID-19 recovery.
The women, peace and security agenda promotes women’s participation in peace and security matters with a focus on helping women facing violent conflict. By incorporating women’s perspectives, issues and concerns in the context of COVID-19 recovery, policies and activities can help address issues that disproportionately impact most women in war-affected countries.
Policies could include efforts to create living-wage jobs for women that come with state benefits, emergency funding for women heads of household (so they can avoid taking out predatory loans) and increasing the number of resources (like shelters and legal services) for women experiencing domestic gender-based violence.
The impacts of COVID-19 must be incorporated into women, peace and security planning in order to achieve the agenda’s aims of improving the lives of women and girls in postwar countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Luna KC is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Network-Women Peace Security, McGill University. This project is funded by the Government of Canada Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program.
Crystal Whetstone does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.economic recovery pandemic coronavirus covid-19 vaccine quarantine recovery canada
CDC Announces Overhaul After Botching Pandemic
CDC Announces Overhaul After Botching Pandemic
After more than two years of missteps and backpedaling over Covid-19 guidance that had a profound…
After more than two years of missteps and backpedaling over Covid-19 guidance that had a profound effect on Americans' lives, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Wednesday that the agency would undergo a complete overhaul - and will revamp everything from its operations to its culture after failing to meet expectations during the pandemic, Bloomberg reports.
Director Rochelle Walensky began telling CDC’s staff Wednesday that the changes are aimed at replacing the agency’s insular, academic culture with one that’s quicker to respond to emergencies. That will mean more rapidly turning research into health recommendations, working better with other parts of government and improving how the CDC communicates with the public. -Bloomberg
"For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for Covid-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations," said Director Rochelle Walensky. "I want us all to do better and it starts with CDC leading the way. My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication and timeliness."
As Bloomberg further notes, The agency has been faulted for an inadequate testing and surveillance program, for not collecting important data on how the virus was spreading and how vaccines were performing, for being too under the influence of the White House during the Trump administration and for repeated challenges communicating to a politically divided and sometimes skeptical public."
A few examples:
- CDC Spreads Misinformation On Masking, Not Science
- CDC Admits No Record Of Naturally Immune Transmitting COVID-19
- CDC's Masking Flip-Flop
- CDC Admits It Gave False Information About COVID-19 Vaccine Surveillance
- CDC Admits It Can't Back Claim That Vaccines Don't Cause Variants
- Causing Coronavirus Confusion Again
Walensky made the announcement in a Wednesday morning video message to CDC staff, where she said that the US has 'significant work to do' in order to improve the country's public health defenses.
"Prior to this pandemic, our infrastructure within the agency and around the country was too frail to tackle what we confronted with Covid-19," she said. "To be frank, we are responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes — from testing, to data, to communications."
Expired: Trust the science— zerohedge (@zerohedge) August 17, 2022
Wired: Trust the restructuring https://t.co/JL4G0JQOel
The CDC overhaul comes on the heels of the agency admitting that "unvaccinated people now have the same guidance as vaccinated people" - and that those exposed to COVID-19 are no longer required to quarantine.
The Las Vegas Strip Gets a Major New Innovation
It’s not just Caesars and MGM innovating on the Strip. Elon Musk has been tunneling under Las Vegas to solve a big problem, and now he has a rival.
It's not just Caesars and MGM innovating on the Strip. Elon Musk has been tunneling under Las Vegas to solve a big problem, and now he has a rival.
Las Vegas has quietly become a hotbed for innovation. Some of that has been driven by the major casino operators -- Caesars Entertainment (CZR) - Get Caesars Entertainment Inc. Report, MGM Resorts International (MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International Report, Resorts World Las Vegas, and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) - Get Wynn Resorts Limited Report -- trying to outdo each other to win over customers.
Some innovations are ostentatious and hard to miss, like the MSG (MSGE) - Get Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. Class A Report Sphere being built at the Venetian. That first-of-its-kind concert venue looks as if it dropped to Earth from a technologically advanced civilization, and it has raised the bar for performance venues.
Many innovations, however, aren't as obvious. Caesars, for example, uses an artificial intelligence text-based concierge that's surprisingly effective. "Ivy," as it goes by, can answer questions, help with mundane tasks like getting clean towels delivered, or advance your issue to a human where needed.
Innovations big and small are happening up, down, and under the Las Vegas Strip. Elon Musk's Boring Co. has been building a network of tunnels under the city that will eventually use driverless Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report electric vehicles to ferry people all over the city.
That's a revolutionary idea -- but now a rival has emerged.
Musk Goes Low, Lyft Goes High?
Musk's Boring Co. has a bold plan for more than 50 stations connecting the Las Vegas Strip to the airport, the Convention Center, Allegiant Stadium, and Fremont Street using driverless Teslas.
Currently, only a small portion of that network has been built -- a section connecting the two halves of the Las Vegas Convention Center (and one connecting Resorts World Las Vegas to that same location.
For Musk and Boring Co., it's all about taking traffic off the city's busy streets and bringing it underground.
"During typical peak hours, driving from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Mandalay Bay, for example, can take up to 30 minutes. The same trip on Vegas Loop will take approximately 3 minutes," the company says on its website.
If Musk's plan is fully built, it'll effectively give Las Vegas a modern subway, helping alleviate road congestion. It will not, however, stop tourists from using ride-share and taxi cabs.
Lyft Brings Driverless Cars (Sort of) to Las Vegas
Labor in Las Vegas has been in short supply since the pandemic hit. Some people left the city and others found work outside the service-industry jobs that fuel the Las Vegas economy. At times, that has made the wait for a cab, or a ride-share from Uber (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies Inc. Report and Lyft, longer than usual.
Lyft plans to fix that by partnering with Motional to bring Motional's "Ioniq-5-based robotaxi, an autonomous vehicle designed for fully driverless ride-hail operation, to the Lyft network in Las Vegas," the ride-share company shared in a news release.
"Launching Motional’s all-electric Ioniq 5 on Lyft’s network in Las Vegas represents tremendous progress in our vision to make an electric, autonomous, and shared future a reality for people everywhere," said Lyft CEO Logan Green.
An Important Caveat
There is, however, a pretty big catch.
"Each vehicle arrives with not one but two backup drivers standing by to take control of the car should anything go wrong" Casino.org's Corey Levitan reported.
Lyft has promised a truly driverless system at some point in 2023, but current laws and the state of driverless technology make the backups necessary.
Motional and Lyft have quietly been testing driverless vehicles in Las Vegas since 2018. In the news release, Lyft explained how the system works.
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"This means riders are able to easily control their ride without assistance from a driver. The enhanced experience includes unlocking the doors through the Lyft app and starting the ride or contacting customer support from the new in-car Lyft AV app, an intuitive in-ride display tailored to autonomous ride-sharing," the company said.
Lyft and Boring Co. are not working together. But if Musk's plan takes vehicles off Las Vegas's streets, the new program makes the experience better for any that remain.
Ride sharing and taxis will continue to cost significantly more than using Boring Co's subway-like system, so it's easy to see how the two options will work well together. .
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