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Jul 17, 2013

Vivus says FMC rejects offer to settle proxy fight

July 17 (Reuters) – Obesity drug maker Vivus Inc,
embroiled in a bitter proxy war with its top shareholder First
Manhattan Co, said on Wednesday that FMC had rejected an offer
to give the sides equal representation on the board.

FMC responded by saying that it remains open to a fair
settlement with the Vivus board, despite filing a lawsuit this
week against the biotechnology company for postponing its annual
shareholder meeting by three days. FMC said at the time of
Monday’s originally scheduled meeting it had the votes needed to
seize control of the Vivus board.

Jul 16, 2013

First Manhattan sues Vivus for shareholder meeting delay

By Bill Berkrot and Jessica Toonkel

(Reuters) – A proxy battle between Vivus Inc. and First Manhattan Co., its top investor, intensified on Tuesday when FMC filed a lawsuit saying the directors of the obesity drugmaker illegally delayed its shareholder meeting to keep themselves in office.

In the lawsuit filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, First Manhattan said it had the votes to win the proxy fight and asked the court to stop Vivus and its representatives from soliciting proxies or votes for the annual meeting.

Jul 2, 2013

Top Vivus holder proposes ex AstraZeneca exec as CEO

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Vivus Inc’s largest shareholder on Tuesday took the unusual step of naming the man it would install as the drugmaker’s chief executive should it prevail in its battle to gain control of the board of directors this month.

First Manhattan Co (FMC), which owns 9.9 percent of Vivus shares and has proposed a full slate of nine directors in a proxy fight, said former AstraZeneca Plc senior executive Anthony Zook was the right man to replace longtime Vivus CEO Leland Wilson. The move could help swing support for the activist investor ahead of Vivus’s July 15 meeting of shareholders.

Jun 30, 2013

New clot preventer works as well as warfarin with less bleeding

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – The blood clot preventer Eliquis, sold by Pfizer Inc and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, proved as effective as widely used warfarin in treating a dangerous condition known as venous thromboembolism and caused far less bleeding, according to data from a large clinical trial.

The Pfizer and Bristol-Myers pill met the main goal of the study by showing it worked just as well as conventional treatment with warfarin, a generic blood thinner, in reducing recurrence of the condition and related deaths.

Jun 26, 2013

Top Vivus holder in talks with CEO candidates

June 25 (Reuters) – First Manhattan Company (FMC) stepped up
the pressure in its proxy fight with obesity drug maker Vivus
Inc, saying it was in advanced discussions with
potential chief executive candidates to replace the current CEO
should it prevail in gaining control of the Vivus board.

In a filing with U.S. securities regulators, FMC said it had
gone as far as hiring recruiters with experience in the
pharmaceutical industry to identify top CEO candidates.

Jun 25, 2013

Top Vivus shareholder in talks with candidates to replace drugmaker’s CEO

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – First Manhattan Company (FMC) stepped up the pressure in its proxy fight with obesity drug maker Vivus Inc (VVUS.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), saying it was in advanced discussions with potential chief executive candidates to replace the current CEO should it prevail in gaining control of the Vivus board.

In a filing with U.S. securities regulators, FMC said it had gone as far as hiring recruiters with experience in the pharmaceutical industry to identify top CEO candidates.

Jun 24, 2013

Supreme Court justices block generic drug liability lawsuits

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that generic drugmakers cannot be sued under state law for adverse reactions to their products, a decision that consumer advocates called a blow to patient safety.

In a 5-4 vote, the court ruled for Mutual Pharmaceutical Co, owned by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, overturning a multimillion-dollar jury award to a badly injured patient in New Hampshire who alleged a generic drug she had taken was unsafe based on its chemical design.

Jun 24, 2013

U.S. justices block generic drug liability lawsuits

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme
Court ruled on Monday that generic drugmakers cannot be sued
under state law for adverse reactions to their products, a
decision that consumer advocates called a blow to patient
safety.

In a 5-4 vote, the court ruled for Mutual Pharmaceutical Co,
owned by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd,
overturning a multimillion-dollar jury award to a badly injured
patient in New Hampshire who alleged a generic drug she had
taken was unsafe based on its chemical design.

Jun 22, 2013

Lilly once-weekly diabetes drug proves superior in late-stage trials

By Bill Berkrot

(Reuters) – A once-weekly drug for type 2 diabetes developed by Eli Lilly and Co worked better at controlling blood sugar than three other widely used medicines, according to data from late- stage clinical trials.

The data, presented on Saturday at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) meeting in Chicago, also showed that the Lilly shot helped patients lose twice as much weight as those taking Merck & Co’s $4 billion-a-year drug, Januvia.

Jun 12, 2013

Drugmakers to cooperate in safety review of diabetes drugs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global drugmakers said on Wednesday they would cooperate with an independent review to address concerns of a potential link between widely used diabetes medicines and pancreatic cancer and other safety problems.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) this week called for a new evaluation of clinical data on drugs used to control blood sugar for patients with type 2 diabetes. They include Merck & Co’s $4 billion a year Januvia franchise, Novo Nordisk’s Victoza, and Byetta and Onglyza from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and AstraZeneca Plc, among others.

    • About Bill

      "Based in New York, I primarily cover the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors as well as other publicly traded companies involved in health care. Previously covered a wide range of sports for Reuters."
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