Senior Correspondent, London
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Dec 2, 2014
Dec 2, 2014

Gene company 23andme launches in UK after U.S. regulatory hurdle

LONDON (Reuters) – A controversial personal DNA testing kit from Google-backed genetics business 23andme was launched in Britain on Tuesday.

It offers users a chance to see if they are at risk from certain diseases and has a green light to go on sale, after securing a so-called “CE” mark of European quality assurance.

Dec 2, 2014
Nov 30, 2014

GSK to axe U.S. jobs as part of $1.6 billion cost cuts: sources

LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline will this week inform U.S. staff of hundreds of job cuts in its biggest market as the drugmaker starts implementing a major cost-saving program, sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Britain’s top drugmaker announced at third-quarter results on Oct. 22 that the new restructuring scheme would save 1 billion pounds ($1.56 billion) in annual costs over three years, but it has yet to tell employees where the axe will fall.

Nov 28, 2014
Nov 28, 2014

Germany’s Merck aims to grow, not sell $1 billion consumer health arm

LONDON (Reuters) – Merck KGaA (MRCG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) aims to keep hold of its consumer healthcare unit, it said on Friday, pledging to develop a business that is expected to generate 2014 sales of $1 billion for the German drugs and chemicals company.

The non-prescription market has seen a wave of consolidation this year and a $17 billion deal for Merck to buy laboratory supplies business Sigma-Aldrich (SIAL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has prompted some bankers to speculate it might consider selling the consumer unit.

Nov 26, 2014
Nov 26, 2014
Nov 26, 2014

Exclusive: First gene therapy drug sets million-euro price record

FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) – The Western world’s first gene therapy drug is set to go on sale in Germany with a 1.1 million euro ($1.4 million) price tag, a new record for a medicine to treat a rare disease.

The sky-high cost of Glybera, from Dutch biotech firm UniQure (QURE.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and its unlisted Italian marketing partner Chiesi, shows how single curative therapies to fix faulty genes may upend the conventional pharmaceutical business model.

Nov 25, 2014
    • 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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