Saturday, 24 February 2018 - 6:58
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Gilead surprises markets again: signed $3bn agreement with Sangamo

Gilead surprised markets again today as it announced, before Wall Street opened, it has entered into an agreement with Sangamo Therapeutics. The deal grants the California-based company access to Sangamo’s “zinc finger nuclease” technology platform for the development of novel…

Merck & Co. back in the game: Viralytics acquired for €289m

Many analysts were wondering how Merck & Co. would react to the new agreements reached by its competitor Bristol-Myers Squibb, strengthening its presence in the immunotherapy business. Therefore, there is no wonder Merck & Co has announced today the acquisition…

Aimmune’s peanut allergy drug successful

US-based biotech Aimmune Therapeutics yesterday announced positive clinical results from its Phase-III Parisade clinical trial enrolling 554 patients with peanut allergy, treated with the AR101 investigational therapy. The results have demonstrated that 2/3 of the patients better tolerate at least…

Johnson and Johnson exploring sale of ASP ($2bn)

Johnson & Johnson is reportedly weighing a sale of its subsidiary ASP, which manufactures products for sterilizing and disinfecting medical tools. According to analysts, the divestiture is likely to fetch the pharma giant at least $2bn. The deadline to submit…

Vasant Narasimhan, Novartis CEO, describes group’s R&D strategy

41-year-old Novartis new CEO Vasant Narasimhan has announced his R&D strategy for the Basel-based group. Narasimhan is seeking to innovate the data science and digital technologies divisions, which he expects to be the development drivers for new drugs. Additionally, the…

New FDA approval for AstraZeneca’s Imfinzi

FDA has approved the cancer drug Imfinzi for the treatment of stage III lung cancer on patients who have already been treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The approval reflects the positive data from the Pacific clinical trial. Analysts believe…

Gilead wins appeal against Merck & Co. and saves $2.54bn

A judge in the federal court in Delaware has ruled in favor of Gilead in an appeal trial concerning patent issues against Merck & Co.. Specifically, the judge has held invalid Merck & Co.’s patent protecting a hepatitis C treatment,…

Novartis starts divesting Sandoz’s North-American business ($1.6bn)

Reuters yesterday announced that Switzerland-based Novartis has started the process to divest the North-American division of Sandoz, its generic pills business. The divestiture may attract other drugmakers and private equities, ready to offer a minimum of $1.6bn, that is 8x…

Roche pursuing M&A again: Flatiron Health acquired for $1.9bn

Switzerland-based multinational Roche announced yesterday evening, after trading closed, that it has acquired Flatiron Health for $1.9bn. Flatiron is a start-up focusing on cancer treatment technology, developing tools such as the electronic health record (EHR) software and real-world evidence for…

Warren Buffet believes in Teva: over $350m invested

Investor Berkshire Hathaway announced yesterday afternoon it has acquired shares of Israeli-based Teva corresponding to 1.9% of the company and a $358m market value. The announcement has caused Teva’s share price to soar by 11% (Nasdaq). The fund headed by…

Bristol-Myers Squibb enters into $3.6bn agreement with Nektar Therapeutics

Bristol-Myers Squibb is pursuing M&A again: yesterday, in the late evening, it announced an agreement with Nektar Therapeutics, expanding the existing strategic collaboration agreement signed in 2016 by the two companies for the scientific and commercial development of immunotherapy NKTR-214…

Astellas announces acquisition of Universal Cells for $102.5m

Japan-based Astellas Pharma has announced today to the Japanese stock exchange authorities that it has acquired Universal Cells for $102.5m. Universal Cells is headquartered in Seattle and, over the years, has developed the Universal Donor Cell technology, based on stem…

Jean-Paul Clozel describes “unicorn” Idorsia’s strategy

Jean-Paul Clozel (62), head of Switzerland-based biotech Idorsia, has been elected Manager of the year by the readers of the Swiss economic and financial weekly Finanz und Wirtschaft, which has published today a long interview to the French manager. Clozel,…

Galapagos tries to avoid being acquired by Gilead

The Dutch economic and financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad has published today a front-page article reporting that Belgium-based biotech Galapagos is looking for an important shareholder protecting it from Gilead. Gilead already owns 13% of the company. Galapagos CEO Van…

Amgen still far from performing an important acquisition

CFO of the US-based biotech group Amgen, David Meline, has said in an interview that, despite his team’s commitment in researching for a valid M&A candidate, it has not come up with any results yet, due to the companies’ current…

Merck KGaA opens R&D center to develop nanotechnologies in Jerusalem

German’s Merck KGaA this week has opened its technology innovation laboratory at its subsidiary Qlight Nanotech in Jerusalem. The laboratory, in the Hebrew University campus, will be used to develop new technologies and materials. Qlight Nanotech is a spin-off of…

Japan-based Shionogi develops powerful drug to treat influenza

Japan-based pharmaceutical group Shionogi has reported that it has developed a therapy eliminating the A and B influenza virus in 24 hours with a single dose–a far better result than Roche’s Tamiflu, which requires two doses and a minimum of…

Hardship not to end for Teva: guidance for 2018 cut down

The negative momentum seems to never end for Teva. The company’s shares today decreased by almost 10% (Wall Street) as the Israeli group’s management announced a forecast downgrade for 2018, despite a drastic price cut plan that resulted in 14,000…

Research in pharma less and less profitable, economic return as little as 3%

The economic return from R&D for large drugmakers is steadily shrinking and many relevant groups prefer acquiring companies with strong pipelines and interesting products rather than performing inward investment in novel R&D programs. Deloitte Consulting has recently published a study…

Diabetes business increasingly struggling

In the past, the diabetes business used to deliver excellent margins and considerable growth rate, which encouraged many companies to join it and launch new products. Increased competition and pressure on prices by authorities have resulted in the current global-scale…

Positive financial results for BMS but shares drop due to analysts’ skepticism

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMS) shares have followed today a curious trend: they have dropped 3%, although the 2017 financial results, announced today, are slightly exceeding expectations. BMS–like other US-based pharmaceutical groups–has posted negative profits (-$2.3bn), following adjustments due to the Trump…

Vertex is still one of the top M&A targets

Analysts and healthcare experts have been looking at Vertex Pharmaceuticals as one of the next M&A targets for months. Chances for the Boston-based group to be taken over have become stronger than ever in the last days. Indeed, Vertex has…