Senior Correspondent, London
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Jun 27, 2014

Lilly wins EU backing for copy of Sanofi’s top insulin Lantus

LONDON (Reuters) – European regulators have for the first time recommended approval of a copycat insulin for diabetics, posing a threat to French drugmaker Sanofi whose top-selling Lantus is now set to face a cheaper rival in 2015.

The new drug, known as Abasria, is made by U.S. rival Eli Lilly, which has developed it as a so-called biosimilar version of Sanofi’s $8 billion-a-year Lantus, or insulin glargine.

Jun 27, 2014
Jun 27, 2014
Jun 26, 2014
Jun 26, 2014

Cancer drug setback tarnishes AstraZeneca’s R&D claims

LONDON, June 26 (Reuters) – A vote by U.S. experts against
accelerated approval of a new ovarian cancer drug from
AstraZeneca has dented its claims of research prowess,
which were used to see off a $118 billion bid from Pfizer

In itself, the setback will have little impact on earnings
prospects – but it coincides with heightened scrutiny of the
British drugmaker’s research and development (R&D) machine and
continued talk that Pfizer may return if it stumbles.

Jun 25, 2014

AbbVie presses case for Shire deal and urges talks

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker AbbVie set out the strategic rationale for acquiring Shire on Wednesday as a battle for control of the London-listed company, which has spurned AbbVie’s $46 billion bid, entered a new phase.

AbbVie called for talks and said it was willing to move quickly and cooperatively to clinch a deal, arguing it would create more value from Shire’s assets than the hyperactivity and rare diseases specialist could do on its own.

Jun 25, 2014

Patent win helps Shire as AbbVie plots next bid move

LONDON (Reuters) – Shire (SHP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which has spurned a $46 billion takeover offer from U.S. group AbbVie (ABBV.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) as inadequate, has a new reason to argue it is worth more after a U.S. court backed patent claims on its top-selling drug Vyvanse.

The summary judgment in Shire’s favor, handed down by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, blocks five generic drug manufacturers from launching cheap copies of the hyperactivity drug before 2023, unless they win the case on appeal.

Jun 24, 2014
Jun 23, 2014
Jun 23, 2014

Shire flags new drugs in AstraZeneca-style defence to AbbVie

LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) – Shire flagged the
promise of existing and new drugs on Monday as evidence that
AbbVie’s $46 billion offer undervalued the company, the
latest British firm to be targeted by a U.S. group seeking lower

Shire is taking a leaf out of AstraZeneca’s playbook
by disclosing long-range internal forecasts – a tactic used
successfully by its larger London-listed rival in fending off a
$118 billion bid from Pfizer.

    • About Ben

      "Ben Hirschler is European pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare correspondent, based in London. Previously, he was in charge of British company news and before that was posted to Johannesburg, covering the economic challenges facing post-apartheid South Africa."
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