Senior Correspondent, London
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Oct 16, 2014
Oct 16, 2014
Oct 16, 2014

AbbVie board ditches planned $55 billion Shire acquisition

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker AbbVie (ABBV.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has pulled the plug on its plan to buy Dublin-based Shire (SHP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), recommending shareholders vote against the proposed $55 billion takeover following new U.S. tax rules.

Shire stands to be paid a break-up fee of about $1.64 billion, assuming AbbVie’s shareholders follow the advice and reject the transaction.

Oct 14, 2014

Geographic split likely for GSK mature drugs sale: sources

LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline is seeking binding bids by next month for a range of older drugs worth more than $3 billion, which it is likely to sell by geographical region, according to people with direct knowledge of the process.

Potential bidders include private equity firm KKR, India’s Lupin and Denmark’s Lundbeck, all of which are interested in acquiring rights to products in certain regions.

Oct 14, 2014

AstraZeneca looks to EU decision for next cancer drug boost

LONDON (Reuters) – AstraZeneca’s cancer drug pipeline, already on a roll following promising clinical trial results, could get a further boost next week from a European green light for an experimental medicine against ovarian cancer.

European Medicines Agency experts will consider whether to recommend approval of olaparib at their regular monthly meeting, with a decision expected on Oct. 23 or 24, a company spokeswoman said.

Oct 13, 2014
Oct 13, 2014

Exclusive: Software issue casts doubt over data used to approve some drugs

LONDON (Reuters) – The reliability of clinical tests used to win approval for some medicines — particularly generic copies of original drugs — could be in doubt due to an apparent software glitch that may mean data was calculated incorrectly.

An official at the London-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) told Reuters that the issue, involving Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Kinetica package, would be discussed by European regulators at a meeting next week.

Oct 13, 2014
Oct 13, 2014

Smith & Nephew “spray-on-skin” for leg ulcers flops in trial

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – A novel spray-on skin treatment
consisting of living cells made by Smith & Nephew, which
is designed to work with the body’s own cells to help heal leg
ulcers, has failed in a late-stage clinical trial.

The product, known as HP802-247, was viewed by some analysts
as a key pipeline asset in the company’s advanced wound
management division and the Phase III failure is a setback for
the healthcare group, which is a regular subject of takeover
talk.

Oct 12, 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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