KHN Morning Briefing

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Calif. Startup Gambles On Development Of Alzheimer’s Treatment

Also in the news, lobbyists double down on efforts surrounding a California prescription drug pricing transparency bill.

Stat: Billion-Dollar Gamble: Biotech CEO Takes A Second Shot At Alzheimer's Drug
Medivation, a California startup, was developing a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, and pivotal results from a major clinical trial were finally available. An earlier study, conducted in Russia, had generated what Alzheimer’s experts hailed as the best results the field had ever seen. Dr. David Hung, the CEO, believed he had a billion-dollar product. ... The drug, Dimebon, failed all five of the trial’s key metrics, performing even worse than placebo on two of them. Medivation lost more than $1 billion in value in the first hour of trading as the company’s leaders struggled to process the startling failure. ...So he’s doing it again — headed for another crowded room and another make-or-break clinical trial. This time it’s with Axovant Sciences. (Garde, 9/7)

Los Angeles Times: Lobbying For California Bill To Crack Down On Prescription Drug Prices Intensifies
Backers of a measure to require pharmaceutical companies to disclose more information on the list prices of their drugs are stepping up their lobbying efforts in the closing days of the California legislative session. Labor unions, consumer groups, health plans and other high-profile advocacy organizations such as the AARP and NextGen, which is bankrolled by billionaire activist Tom Steyer, made the rounds at the state Capitol on Wednesday to urge Assembly members to back the bill, SB 17, by state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina). (Mason, 9/6)

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