Pfizer Buys Cancer Drugmaker; FDA Orders Blood Banks to Test for Zika Virus

Pfizer acquired biotech cancer drugmaker Medivation for $14 billion after a competitive fight among other bidders. The acquired company has a cancer drug portfolio with one product on the market and several new drugs in their development pipeline. The marketed cancer treatment includes Xtandi to treat prostate cancer. That product generated about $2.2 billion in worldwide sales according to the company. 

In other news, the spread of the Zika virus to 2000+ cases in the United States has caused the FDA to request that blood banks in 11 states will need to begin testing for ZIka virus from blood donors. The Swiss firm, Roche diagnostics has developed an automated blood bank screening system that can identify Zika virus in a blood sample. The FDA has approved the utilization of the Roche diagnostic equipment for blood banks in the the 11 initial states beginning with in weeks.

Eventually down the line, the FDA said that they expect all blood banks in the entire USA to eventually screen the blood system for Zika virus. The expanded US virus screening program will likely begin sometime early in 2017. 

To date, most of the Zika infection cases have been in Puerto Rico and Miami, Florida. The area of infection is likely to spread to other Gulf states in the East and states on the West Coast such as California, Oregon or Nevada. Doctors have discovered that Zika virus can cause an expanding range of conditions including Guillan-Barret syndrome, and one person has died as a result of complications from a Zika virus infection.

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