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This Week in Biotech: Part 1

Sean Williams
November 10, 2012

With the SPDR S&P Biotech Index up 27% year to date, it's very evident that investment dollars are willingly flowing into the biotech sector. Keeping that in mind, let's have a look at some of the rulings, studies, and companies that made waves in the sector last week.

To say this was a busy week in biotech would be a monstrous understatement. In fact, there were so many studies out this week that I've broken down this weekly wrap-up into two separate articles for sheer number newsworthy stories. In this article I plan to note this week's upside surprises.

If you recall, heading into this week I recommended that investors keep an eye on both Novartis (NYSE: NVS) and Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO), as they were both expected to head before the FDA panel this week -- and neither disappointed.

Novartis' Signifor, a treatment for Cushing's disease that's already approved in Europe, received a unanimous 10-0 vote in recommendation of approval from the FDA's Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee this week. Cushing's Disease patients have few treatment options available at the moment, and more than one-quarter of the 162 patients treated in its late-stage study using Signifor demonstrated lower urinary free cortisol levels after six months at high dosage.

Without calling it a sure thing, I'd say Signifor looks poised for FDA approval. That's bad news for Corcept Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CORT), which nosedived this week