Caroline's Feed
Feb 4, 2014

Swiss grapple with identity, economy in immigration vote

WINTERTHUR, Switzerland, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Low taxes and
good infrastructure aside, what entrepreneur Thorsten Schwenke
really needs to grow his small Swiss-based business is the right
people, regardless of their nationality.

That’s why he is so bewildered by a vote in Switzerland on
Feb. 9 on whether to impose restrictions on immigrants from the
European Union, and by the proposal’s increasing popularity in a
country where foreign labour helped forge a powerful economy.

Jan 30, 2014

Roche profits rise, payout level prompts M&A questions

BASEL (Reuters) – Roche offered shareholders a lower-than-expected dividend payout after reporting an 18 percent rise in full-year net profit, potentially a sign the Swiss pharmaceuticals group might be keeping its cash for deals.

Roche – the world’s largest maker of cancer drugs – has a track record of solid profit growth prompting expectations of a more generous dividend, share buyback or M&A.

Jan 29, 2014

Novartis weighs joint ventures, unconventional deals for smaller businesses

BASEL (Reuters) – Novartis (NOVN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is looking at options, such as joint ventures, for three smaller businesses to bring them in line with its world-leading pharmaceutical operations, it said on Wednesday, in a review due to be completed by the end of summer.

The Basel-based firm has been casting a fresh eye over its operations following the departure of veteran chairman and one-time CEO Daniel Vasella, the architect of the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz that created Novartis in 1996.

Jan 23, 2014

Lonza to focus on pharma as benefits from outsourcing

ZURICH, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Swiss speciality chemicals maker
and life sciences group Lonza said it plans to focus
on the pharmaceutical and biotech market as it benefits from
drugmakers increasingly outsourcing production.

The firm, faced with low-cost competition, a strong Swiss
franc and higher raw material prices, has been undergoing a
structural overhaul since Richard Ridinger took over as Chief
Executive in May 2012.

Jan 21, 2014

Roche’s schizophrenia drug misses goal in two late-stage trials

ZURICH, Jan 21 (Reuters) – An experimental Roche
drug designed to treat the “negative symptoms” of schizophrenia
failed to meet its main goal in two late-stage studies, dealing
a blow to the Swiss drugmaker’s research hopes in the risky area
of brain science.

Results of two Phase III trials found bitopertin in
combination with antipsychotic therapy did not significantly
reduce negative symptoms after 24 weeks of treatment compared
with placebo. A third late-stage study is ongoing.

Jan 15, 2014

Barry Callebaut sees gourmet tastes lifting chocolate demand

ZURICH (Reuters) – Demand for chocolate is picking up, boosted by strong sales of gourmet products, the world’s biggest supplier to the industry said on Wednesday, as it blamed capacity constraints and a lull in outsourcing deals for slower growth in its sales volumes.

Barry Callebaut (BARN.S: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which makes chocolate for the likes of Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Mondelez (MDLZ.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said on Wednesday consumers in the Americas in particular were flocking to premium chocolates.

Jan 15, 2014

Barry Callebaut sees gourmet tastes lifting chocolate demand

ZURICH, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Demand for chocolate is picking
up, boosted by strong sales of gourmet products, the world’s
biggest supplier to the industry said on Wednesday, as it blamed
capacity constraints and a lull in outsourcing deals for slower
growth in its sales volumes.

Barry Callebaut, which makes chocolate for the
likes of Nestle and Mondelez, said on
Wednesday consumers in the Americas in particular were flocking
to premium chocolates.

Jan 8, 2014

Roche ‘brain shuttle’ technology offers Alzheimer’s hope

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Roche has found an efficient way for complex antibody drugs to reach and penetrate the brain, raising the possibility of more effective treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The innovative brain shuttle technology, which has so far been tested in mice, can cross the blood-brain barrier that has been a key obstacle for researchers working on neurological drugs because it acts as a seal against large molecules such as antibodies.

Jan 7, 2014

Returns may suffer as drugmakers compete in crowded cancer field

ZURICH (Reuters) – Pharmaceutical companies including Switzerland’s Novartis and Roche are among those developing a treatment for a specific type of lung cancer, a field that is now so crowded it may impact profits.

A better understanding of the cause of tumors has drawn resources into cancer research at the expense of antibiotics and cardiovascular disease but over-concentration in certain fields could cut commercial rewards, some analysts say.

Jan 6, 2014

Swiss business groups warn against immigration quota plan

BERNE (Reuters) – Swiss business groups rallied together on Monday to reject a proposal to re-impose quotas on immigrants from European Union countries, warning the measure would exacerbate a shortage of skilled workers and damage firms’ competitiveness.

Despite the country’s wealth and economic success, immigration is a hot-button issue in Switzerland where the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) has long blamed rising rents, crowded public transport and higher crime on an influx of foreigners.