I never thought Elizabeth Warren could be agreeing with me on a “solution” to the drug pricing “problem”. About a year ago on Maria Bartiromo’s television show I proposed a government-run drug company, owned by the USA taxpayer. Such models have proven very successful in China. A SEO is hardly unheard of in the US, where we have had many GSOs with variable success. Anyway, if the citizenry deems certain generic drugs to be so vital that they are utilities, a state-sponsored generic drug company is not a bad idea. It is especially worthwhile if the company has a publicly traded minority equity, so the financial results are transparent. If it is worth anything, it is an asset for the American people and contributes against our deficit. Such a company would have good scale and could sell products outside of the US, as well. There would be no excuse after the creation of such a company for “high drug prices”, at least from the purported “generic cartel” or alleged “bad actors” such as Mylan (not my opinion). Warren may be surprised at the lack of profitability of selling these old medicines, and would be stockholders might cringe at the negative margins in this business, but at least a “problem” would be solved. The subsequent “problems” would come to light: multi-year FDA regulation and review, unclear interpretation of the law, etc.

Clinical Trials I’ve Noticed
A Safety, Efficacy and Systemic Exposure Study of CD5789 Cream in Adults and Adolescents With lamellar Ichthyosis. Mayne Pharma International Pty Ltd.
CD5789 is a new kind of retinoid (I think).

G-Pen Compared to Glucagen Hypokit for Severe Hypoglycemia Rescue in Adults With Type 1 Diabetes. Xeris Pharmaceuticals.
XERS is public–I recall the private company from a few years back.

Efficacy of a Plant-derived Quadrivalent VLP Vaccine in the Elderly. Medicago.
This is a n=12000 flu trial. Medicago was acquired by Mitsubishi Tanabe a little while back.

Intratumoral/Intralesional Administration of MK-4621/JetPEI With or Without Pembrolizumab in Participants With Advanced/Metastatic or Recurrent Solid Tumors. Merck Sharp & Dohme.
This is RGT100 from the Rigontec acquisition. I believe expectations are quite low here.

A Clinical Investigation to Assess the Performance of Natural Rubber Latex Condoms in Couples. Reckitt Benckiser.
Need a few volunteers. For science.

Papers I’ve Read
Insights into the pathogenesis of dominant retinitis pigmentosa associated with a D477G mutation in RPE65. Choi, et al. Hum Mol Genet 2018.
Ever try too hard? These researchers go quite a few extra miles to determine the structural relevance of D477G in RPE65, the gene responsible for LCA/RP. Talk about work: they generate a mouse model and do ERG, they do comprehensive in vitro work and for good measure some XRC. Well, they learned everything there is to know about ONE mutation in a rare disease, for all of the handful of people that exist with that disease. Kudos?

Go go go, criminal justice reform! Let’s get that vote done today! When I get out I think I’m going to Genghis Khan the USA. Is the country ready for 5000 Lil’ Shkrelis?

8 thoughts on “12/18/2018”


    Tilray-Novartis – Big Pharma meets Big Cannabis.

    “For Tilray, the deal is the culmination of months of work for Chief Executive Brendan Kennedy, who said in an interview that the partnership will give his company a sales and distribution channel in dozens of countries.

    “Around the world, people are substituting medical cannabis for traditional pharmaceutical products,” Kennedy said in a telephone interview Monday evening. “Medical cannabis is disrupting Big Pharma, and Sandoz and Novartis are smart for being ahead.” (MarketWatch)

    “The cannabis producer Tilray is rallying, up as much as 17% early Tuesday, announcing it has signed a global partnership with Sandoz AG, a division of Swiss drug giant Novartis AG, to increase the availability of its medical cannabis products around the world. Shares were up 8.82% at $71.70 apiece ahead of Tuesday’s opening bell.” (Markets Insider/Business Insider)

    “This agreement represents a major milestone in the movement to provide access to safe, GMP-certified medical cannabis to patients in need across the world,” Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Tilray said in the release.” (Markets Insider/Business Insider)


    I hope you’re well.


  2. Martin you continue to inspire me and your forward looking outlook on life puts a smile on my face. Thank you for doing this.

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