Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday that it plans to ask doctors to return its power morcellators, a controversial surgical device that may inadvertently spread cancer in women being treated for uterine growths called fibroids.
The company’s Ethicon unit in April suspended sales and distribution of the devices while their role in treating symptomatic fibroid disease is reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration and the medical community. The FDA had advised doctors not to use the devices, pending further review.
On Thursday, J&J will take the further step of reaching out to customers to ask them to return the devices they have already bought in what it is calling “a worldwide market withdrawal” of all Ethicon morcellation devices that remain on the market, an Ethicon spokesman said.
The morcellators are used to cut up the uterine growths so they can be more easily removed using noninvasive procedures. They are also used in hysterectomies. But the masses may sometimes be malignant, and the spinning blade of the morcellators could spread deadly cancer and worsen patient outcomes, the FDA had warned.
The Carlyle Group turned a strong second-quarter profit, due in large part to its U.S. buyout funds and performance fees from its growing European activities, the company said Wednesday.
The Washington-based private-equity firm appears to be benefiting from a buoyant stock market and strong prices for the companies and other assets that it buys and sells around the globe.
Its economic net income, which is a popular method of measuring profitability at investment firms, more than doubled, to $318 million, from $156 million a year earlier. Revenue was $900 million.
“The big story is the strong performance of our European private-equity businesses,” co-chief executive William E. Conway Jr. said in a statement.
Carlyle earned $6.5 billion from the sale of companies in the second quarter, while at the same time it poured $3.4 billion of cash into new investments.
— Thomas Heath
● Chrysler Group will recall about 29,500 Fiat 500L compact cars because knee air bags may not work properly if a driver is not wearing a seat belt, the company said. Testing by Chrysler and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that the driver’s knee air bag may not deploy in the proper position to protect fully the knees of an unbelted driver, a company spokesman said. Driver’s knee air bags are standard equipment in the 500L.
● Boeing said final assembly of its 787-10 plane, a planned larger version of its Dreamliner aircraft, will take place in South Carolina. The company said the work will be done in North Charleston because the plane is too large to efficiently transport it from there to its Everett, Wash., facility.
● Yum Brands said reports of improper food handling by Chinese supplier Shanghai Husi Food has had a “significant, negative impact” on same-store sales at its KFC and Pizza Hut outlets in China in the past 10 days. Yum’s shares fell 6.5 percent in extended trading.
● Manchester United Football Club’s American owners are set to raise about $150 million by selling more shares in the soccer team on the New York Stock Exchange. The English Premier League club said the Glazer family is selling 8 million shares with reduced voting rights, which equates to about 5 percent of the business. The share sale comes two months after the death of Malcolm Glazer, who led the family takeover of United in 2005. His six grown children control the club.
— From news services
● 8:30 a.m.: Weekly jobless claims.
● 10 a.m.: Weekly mortgage rates.
● Earnings: Exxon Mobil, LinkedIn, MasterCard, Tesla Motors, T-Mobile US, Time Warner Cable.