News of Note—Biogen R&D; Neuralstem woe; MedCo positives

The latest from Biogen, Neuralstem and MedCo.

> In its second-quarter report today, Biogen says it will continue to focus on CNS as a priority research area. It explained that it “intends to remain focused on neuroscience and adjacencies," which could include deals.The specific aim is to bolster its pipeline, while also streamlining some ops to allocate more to R&D, with $400 million on the table for this operation. Financial report

> Microcap Neuralstem was down 60% in early trading this morning on the flop of a phase 2 test of NSI-189 in major depressive disorder: It missed its primary endpoint in reducing depression symptoms against placebo. This comes more than a year after the stem cell biotech announced a corporate reorganization that made undisclosed cuts to staff. Statement

The Medicines Company says the test of its investigational antibiotic combination, meropenem-vaborbactam (now Vabomere, its new trade name) was stopped early in patients with CRE infection, following a recommendation from the DSMB. Analysts at Jefferies said in a note: “The trial was stopped due to Vabomere’s superior efficacy vs. best available therapy as it relates to clinical cure with additional benefit observed in mortality and lower renal toxicity. The data differentiates Vabomere from competitors: Zerbaxa and Avycaz.” Release

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