Senior Correspondent, London
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May 11, 2015

Hunt for AIDS cure accelerates as GSK and U.S. experts link up

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, which decided last week to retain rather than float off its HIV drugs business, is to collaborate with U.S. scientists in developing a cure for AIDS.

Until recently, many researchers were reluctant to even discuss the possibility of curing the disease caused by HIV, which infects 35 million people worldwide, since the obstacles seemed insurmountable.

May 7, 2015

New GSK chairman backs CEO Witty to stay at helm

LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline’s new
chairman Philip Hampton has thrown his support behind the
company’s current structure and chief executive despite pressure
from some shareholders for a change.

In his first comments since becoming chairman at the
conclusion of the drugmaker’s annual meeting on Thursday,
Hampton told reporters he hoped that CEO Andrew Witty would
continue to run GSK for a good length of time.

May 6, 2015

GlaxoSmithKline targets growth across units, scraps ViiV listing

LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) laid out growth targets for its biggest businesses on Wednesday, hoping to convince investors that focusing on consumer health and vaccines would return the drugmaker to long-term growth.

It also scrapped plans to float its HIV drug business ViiV Healthcare, citing its strong outlook, and promised to pay a steady dividend of 80 pence a share over the next three years.

May 6, 2015

New-look GSK bets on consumer health spending

LONDON (Reuters) – Consumers from New York to New Delhi are digging deeper in their pockets for over-the-counter remedies and health products, a trend GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is banking on to help shape the next chapter in its evolution.

Emma Walmsley, head of the British drugmaker’s enlarged consumer healthcare business, says its market-leading position in areas such as pain relief and oral health will bolster the division’s margins and make it a partner of choice for retailers.

May 6, 2015

Interview – New-look GSK bets on consumer health spending

LONDON (Reuters) – Consumers from New York to New Delhi are digging deeper in their pockets for over-the-counter remedies and health products, a trend GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: Quote, Profile, Research) is banking on to help shape the next chapter in its evolution.

Emma Walmsley, head of the British drugmaker’s enlarged consumer healthcare business, says its market-leading position in areas such as pain relief and oral health will bolster the division’s margins and make it a partner of choice for retailers.

May 3, 2015

Love-in for health service looms large in British election

LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) – “Oh, you girls are lovely. I
wouldn’t do your job for all the money in the world,” says the
elderly orthopaedic patient as two nurses help her off a bedpan.

Across the ward, another woman on the mend after a fall says
her stay has cured a life-long fear of hospitals.

May 1, 2015

Doubts grow over GlaxoSmithKline’s 4 billion pound capital return plan

LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L: Quote, Profile, Research) may ditch a plan to return 4 billion pounds to investors, some analysts believe, as the drugmaker prepares to set out its vision for the reshaped group and a new chairman takes the helm.

Instead, Britain’s biggest drugmaker could use cash flowing in from its far-reaching asset swap deal with Novartis (NOVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) to support its dividend, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs and Berenberg Bank.

May 1, 2015

Doubts grow over GlaxoSmithKline’s $6 bln capital return plan

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline may ditch
a plan to return 4 billion pounds ($6.1 billion) to investors,
some analysts believe, as the drugmaker prepares to set out its
vision for the reshaped group and a new chairman takes the helm.

Instead, Britain’s biggest drugmaker could use cash flowing
in from its far-reaching asset swap deal with Novartis
to support its dividend, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs
and Berenberg Bank.

Apr 27, 2015

GSK readies “bubble boy” drug as big pharma bets on gene therapy

LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline is
close to seeking European approval for a gene therapy drug to
fight the immune deficiency disorder known as “bubble boy”
disease, in the latest sign of a renaissance in the technology
to fix faulty genes.

A recent spate of deals has ignited investor interest and
several large drugmakers are now buying into a high-risk field
that is recovering from some disastrous clinical trial results
in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Apr 24, 2015

Bristol wins EU green light for immune system cancer drug

LONDON (Reuters) – European regulators have recommended approval of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo, paving the way for it to become the first of a closely watched group of immune system-boosting cancer medicines to go on sale in Europe.

The drug, also known as nivolumab, was given a green light on Friday by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of melanoma. It is already approved in the United States for melanoma and lung cancer.

    • 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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