PBT Transcript (5/29/2008)

MIKE ARMSTRONG: Coming up: Goodbye Donald Trump and hello Jimmy Buffet! That's the headline from Atlantic City today. We’ll give you all the details. Good news for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. The Food and Drug Administration has put its new pediatric vaccine on the fast track for review. But the FDA is not looking kindly on a blood disorder drug being developed by GlaxoSmithKline. We’ll tell you what regulators said about it. Philadelphia Business Today starts now.

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MIKE ARMSTRONG:    After talking about it off and on since emerging from bankruptcy three years ago, Trump Resorts is finally selling one of its three casinos in Atlantic City. A New York investment group today agreed to buy the Trump Marina Hotel Casino for $316 million. The group is affiliated with Coastal Development, which is the biggest shareholder of a Boston racetrack. Coastal plans to rename and refurbish Trump Marina with the Margaritaville brand. That’s right, the brand controlled by singer Jimmy Buffet. This would be the second casino to carry the Margaritaville name. Harrah’s announced a year ago it would develop a $700 casino in Biloxi, Mississippi in connection with the laidback singer.

The FDA has granted Wyeth a fast track designation for a vaccine to present pneumococcal disease in infants and toddlers. The agency uses that designation to speed the review process for drugs that tackle serious or potentially life threatening conditions. Wyeth says it hopes to complete its filing to win approval for the vaccine in the first quarter of 2009. Wyeth , which has major operations in Collegeville, already sells its Prevnar vaccine to protect against meningitis and a certain blood infection. The company generated net revenue of $2.4 billion from Prevnar in 2007.

Imagine spending years on R & D for a drug only to be told its no more effective than a placebo. That just happened to GlaxoSmithKline. The company has been working with San Diego’s Ligand Pharmaceuticals on a drug called Promacta to treat a blood clotting disorder. The FDA’s staff reviewed the data and concluded Promacta didn't work any better than the placebo. A similar drug being developed by Amgen won unanimous approval by FDA advisers in March. Wall Street isn’t waiting for a key hearing on Promacta on Friday; Ligand shares hit their lowest level in ten years on Wednesday. Glaxo is a much bigger company and saw little movement in its stock price.

That’s it for today. At the Inquirer, I’m Mike Armstrong for Philadelphia Business Today.

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