1. Pfizer received a breakthrough therapy designation for tafamidis, an investigational treatment for rare disease transthyretin cardiomyopathy. The experimental drug is currently in a Phase-III trial.
2. AbbVie’s experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug, upadacitinib, met the primary and secondary endpoints of a Phase-III study. Half the patients in the study reported low disease activity, compared to 17% taking the placebo. (Endpoints News)
3. Endocyte is cutting 30 jobs after two R&D programs failed, one of which was for an experimental CAR-T treatment. The company now only has 47 employees. (BioPharmaDive)
4. Nurse practitioners engaged in one billion patient visits in 2016, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. The number of practicing nurse practitioners increased to 234,000 in 2016, compared to 222,000 in 2015. (Politico)
5. The thinking at Grail, a Silicon Valley startup, is that the cure for cancer won’t be a drug but instead a test that can identify tumors at an early enough stage to be treated. (MIT Technology Review)