Senior Correspondent, London
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May 18, 2014
May 18, 2014

Pfizer plans to raise AstraZeneca bid as clock ticks down

LONDON, May 18 (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc
is planning to raise its offer for AstraZeneca Plc as it
works with its advisers against the clock in a battle where they
have just eight days left to move under British takeover rules.

One person familiar with the matter said news of a better
offer than the $106 billion rejected by AstraZeneca on May 2
could come on Monday morning. The Wall Street Journal reported
Pfizer was planning to submit a sweetened offer on Sunday.

May 18, 2014
May 18, 2014

Clock ticking for Pfizer to raise AstraZeneca bid

LONDON, May 18 (Reuters) – Pfizer is considering
raising its offer for AstraZeneca as it works with its
advisers against the clock in a battle where they have just
eight days left to move under British takeover rules.

Pfizer still hopes to get AstraZeneca into negotiations
before the May 26 deadline for it to make a formal bid or walk
away, but has not ruled out a hostile bid in the $100
billion-plus takeover fight, people familiar with the matter
said.

May 15, 2014

Eli Lilly loses UK Alimta patent case to Actavis

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) – Eli Lilly and Co has lost
a patent case in the English High Court over its blockbuster
Alimta lung cancer drug to generic drugmaker Actavis Plc
, dealing a blow to the U.S. drugmaker’s future sales
hopes.

The court ruled that Actavis would not infringe patents held
by Lilly if it marketed certain alternative salt forms of the
drug, known generically as pemetrexed, in Britain, France, Italy
and Spain in 2015, according to both companies on Thursday.

May 15, 2014

Promising cancer drug data helps AstraZeneca in Pfizer fight

By Deena Beasley and Ben Hirschler

(Reuters) – New data showing an experimental AstraZeneca lung cancer drug shrank tumors in more than half of patients gave the British group fresh ammunition to argue that Pfizer’s takeover offer undervalues it substantially.

Britain’s second-biggest drugmaker said on Thursday the strong results were among a raft of recent updates that showed accelerating progress in its pipeline of experimental medicines.

May 15, 2014

Good cancer drug data helps AstraZeneca in Pfizer fight

May 15 (Reuters) – New data showing an experimental
AstraZeneca lung cancer drug shrank tumors in more than
half of patients gives the British group fresh ammunition to
argue that Pfizer’s takeover offer undervalues it
substantially.

Britain’s second-biggest drugmaker has rejected a $106
billion approach from its U.S. rival Pfizer, arguing that it has
a bright future as an independent firm due to a promising
pipeline of cancer and other drugs.

May 14, 2014

AstraZeneca leaves door ajar to Pfizer, despite hurdles

LONDON (Reuters) – AstraZeneca’s boss said on Wednesday he would engage with Pfizer if the price was right and the risks posed from forcing the British drugmaker’s operations into the U.S. company’s new three-unit model were addressed.

Chief Executive Pascal Soriot stressed his company had a bright future as a stand-alone firm but acknowledged that shareholders would expect AstraZeneca’s board to negotiate if terms were sufficiently attractive in a sweetened offer.

May 14, 2014
May 14, 2014

Pfizer pledges to ringfence key new drugs in AstraZeneca deal

LONDON (Reuters) – Pfizer (PFE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said it would ringfence the development of important drugs if it acquired AstraZeneca (AZN.L: Quote, Profile, Research), rejecting a charge from the British company that a takeover would disrupt important research and put lives at risk.

“As we put these companies together, we will continue with our pipeline, AZ will continue with theirs,” Pfizer’s Chief Executive Ian Read told lawmakers on a second day of questioning about what could be the biggest ever UK corporate deal.

    • 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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