Caroline's Feed
Jul 8, 2014

Contest to scrap ‘too solemn’ Swiss anthem gets 200 entries

ZURICH (Reuters) – More than 200 budding Swiss songwriters have entered a public competition to come up with a new, more rousing national anthem, according to organizers who want to ditch a traditional work many view as far too solemn.

The contest, organized by the Swiss Society for Public Good, aims to replace “The Swiss Psalm” composed by Alberich Zwyssig, a Swiss monk, in 1841, which critics say is too hymn-like and at odds with modern-day Switzerland.

Jul 3, 2014

Chocolate maker Barry Callebaut sales volume growth slows in first nine months

ZURICH, July 3 (Reuters) – Barry Callebaut, the
world’s biggest chocolate maker, said on Thursday sales volumes
growth slowed to 2.4 percent in the nine months to the end of
May.

The Zurich-based company, which makes chocolate for Nestle
, Unilever and Mondelez
among others, is benefiting from a trend among big food groups
to outsource chocolate production.

Jun 18, 2014

Novartis says slimmer structure to boost profitability

ZURICH, June 18 (Reuters) – Novartis AG on
Wednesday shed some light on how an overhaul of its business
could boost profitability even in a “brutal” era for health
spending, saying the shake-up would have lifted core operating
margins by 2.5 percentage points last year.

The Swiss drugmaker unveiled a series of deals worth over
$25 billion in April in which it will get out of underperforming
businesses and add higher margin cancer drugs from
GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

Jun 17, 2014

Actelion seen on takeover list after stellar drug data

ZURICH, June 17 (Reuters) – Actelion could attract
potential bidders after strong results for the Swiss biotech
company’s new heart and lung drug, Deutsche Bank analysts said
on Tuesday, as a wave of deals sweeps through the healthcare
sector.

Europe’s biggest biotech company has been touted as a
takeover candidate in the past and the stellar data could
reassure potential investors that the firm’s long-term growth
prospects are on course.

Jun 16, 2014

Actelion’s heart-lung drug meets main goal in late-stage study

ZURICH, June 16 (Reuters) – Actelion Ltd said its
experimental heart and lung drug Selexipag met its primary goal
in a late-stage study, giving the Swiss biotech company a
potential second big seller to replenish its product pipeline.

Selexipag is the third drug from Actelion to treat pulmonary
arterial hypertension (PAH), a progressively worsening condition
characterised by abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries
of the lungs. The cause is unknown and the disease has no cure.

Jun 12, 2014

Swiss government mulls measures to cool housing market

ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss government is weighing new measures to cool demand in the housing market out of fear that Switzerland’s high levels of household debt could provoke a real estate crash if the economy went into recession, a senior finance official told Reuters.

The International Monetary Fund has sounded alarm bells about escalating house prices around the world and last month urged Switzerland to implement more aggressive policies to dampen demand for mortgages.

Jun 2, 2014

Roche returns to antibiotic research as superbug threat grows

ZURICH (Reuters) – Roche is betting the same tools that made it the world’s largest producer of cancer drugs will help it tackle the growing public health crisis of antibiotic resistance as regulators and politicians encourage fresh research.

The Swiss drugmaker used its expertise in in vitro diagnostic tests to develop highly-targeted cancer medicines. Now it believes it can use those same skills to find out quickly which bugs cause which infections, and help doctors kill them.

May 22, 2014

China anti-graft watchdog visits Roche amid pharma crackdown

SHANGHAI/ZURICH, May 22 (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Roche
Holding AG said it had been visited by a unit of
China’s anti-trust regulator – a move that comes amid a widening
crackdown on corruption and high prices in the country’s
pharmaceutical sector.

However, it was not immediately clear what was behind the
visit.

Roche said its offices in the eastern city of Hangzhou had
been visited by a unit of the State Administration for Industry
and Commerce (SAIC). The SAIC usually takes the lead in cases of
bribery and corruption.

May 18, 2014

Swiss voters reject world’s highest minimum wage, block fighter jets

ZURICH, May 18 (Reuters) – Swiss voters on Sunday rejected
proposals to introduce the world’s highest minimum wage and
spend $3.5 billion buying new Gripen fighter jets from Saab
.

About 76 percent of voters in the wealthy nation dismissed
the proposal made by Swiss union SGB and backed by the Socialist
and Green parties for a minimum wage of 22 Swiss francs ($25)
per hour, final results showed.

May 13, 2014

Gene Signal in talks for a partner for eye disease drug

ZURICH, May 13 (Reuters) – Gene Signal is in talks with
potential partners to help develop its new treatment for a
leading cause of blindness in the elderly, the biotech firm’s
chief executive said on Tuesday.

Privately-held Gene Signal is looking to muscle in on the
lucrative market for treating wet age-related macular
degeneration (AMD) currently dominated by Roche’s
Lucentis and Regeneron’s Eylea.