Healthcare Business Recap: Merck’s Potential AIDS CURE, Genetic Tech SPIKES

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Here are Thursday’s top stories:

Merck & Company’s (NYSE:MRK) Zolinza treatment for a rare form of cancer could potentially be used to help cure AIDS. Current treatments contain the disease, but they can’t kill HIV-infected cells, which can stay hidden and then later come back if treatment is stopped. However, Zolinza reactivated those cells in eight patients, which constitutes the first step to expelling the virus from the body.

Don’t Miss: Gilead Sciences Earnings: TOPS Revenue Estimate.

AstraZeneca Group, Plc. (NYSE:AZN) reports that its earnings after taxation plummeted by 24 percent to $1.61 billion, impacted by generic rivals to its Seroquel antipsychotic drug, decreased health spending in Europe, and supply chain issues because of information tech problems. The firm reiterates its fiscal year projection for core earnings per share of $5.85 to $6.15, against a consensus of $5.83, compared to $7.28 in 2011, and for sales to slide by a low- to mid-teen percentage, versus a consensus of minus 14.9 percent to $28.6 billion.

Shares of Genetic Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:GENE) spike on the news that it receives a license to market its BrevaGen breast-cancer test in California, where 11 percent of total incidents of the disease in the United States have occurred. The firm already has the authorization to sell BrevaGen in 42 states.

Sanofi-aventis (NYSE:SNY) posts a second quarter adjusted net profit down 9.6 percent to €1.94 billion, negatively impacted by patent expirations for Plavo and Avapro. The company intends to describe the details of job reductions at two French divisions in September, but the French government has the policy of not tolerating job cuts at profitable companies.

Don’t Miss: Amgen Earnings: Profitable Quarter ACCELERATES Growth.

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