Senior Correspondent, London
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Jun 17, 2014

Shire hits record high as drugmaker braces for takeover bids

LONDON, June 17 (Reuters) – Shares in Shire hit a
record high on Tuesday on expectations of a takeover as
dealmaking sweeps the drugs sector, after Reuters reported the
group had hired investment bank Citi as a defence adviser.

Potential acquirers are eyeing the drugmaker’s tax base in
Ireland, where effective corporate tax rates are among the
lowest in the world, as well as its fast-growing portfolio of
drugs to treat hyperactivity and rare diseases.

Jun 16, 2014
Jun 16, 2014

Convergence considers IPO after GSK spin-off, as European biotech revives

LONDON (Reuters) – Convergence Pharmaceuticals, a specialist pain drug company spun off from GlaxoSmithKline, is preparing for a possible stock market listing as British biotech companies enjoy a revival of interest from investors.

The European sector has been slow to catch up with its U.S. peers, which have seen a renaissance in the past two years, but since allergy drug developer Circassia raised 200 million pounds ($335 million) in March – the biggest London market debut in years for a biotech company – the wider industry’s fortunes have turned.

Jun 15, 2014
Jun 13, 2014

Drug-linked payouts: complex fix for Pfizer’s next Astra bid?

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s biggest would-be drugs merger hit a wall last month but speculation about smart ways that Pfizer could yet seal a deal with AstraZeneca remains intense.

Even as talks fell apart last month, some in Pfizer’s camp remained optimistic the transaction could be revived – and certain AstraZeneca advisers have not ruled out renewed talks. Under British takeover law, the UK firm can approach Pfizer at the end of August to discuss a sweetened bid, or Pfizer can try again in November.

Jun 13, 2014
Jun 13, 2014
Jun 12, 2014
Jun 12, 2014

AstraZeneca builds pipeline with $232 mln Synairgen asthma deal

LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) – AstraZeneca has struck a
deal worth up to $232 million in milestone payments to acquire
rights to a drug from Synairgen for treating
respiratory tract viral infections in patients with severe
asthma.

Britain’s second-biggest drugmaker – subject of a $118
billion bid by Pfizer that failed last month – said on
Thursday it would pay UK-based Synairgen a $7.25 million upfront
fee and potential development, regulatory and commercial
milestones of up to $225 million for rights to the drug,
codenamed SNG001.

Jun 9, 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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