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Daily Brief: BIO takes over from ASCO, Greece's Novartis bribery case and more

Highlights from the world of pharma, biotech and healthcare

Hello and welcome to another round up from pharma, biotech and healthcare

BIO takes the baton from ASCO

As ASCO 2018 winds down today in Chicago, another blockbuster biopharma event, BIO 2018 is already underway in Boston.  BIO is the annual jamboree for the biotech sector, and like ASCO, seems to get bigger ever year.

While ASCO is the domain of clinicians and clinical trial data, BIO belongs to the dealmakers and CEOs in biotech and pharma. The sector is particularly ebullient at the moment, thanks to a resurgence in biotech IPOs in the last few months, with no fewer than 24 in the first half of the year.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the convention is looking to make an official Guinness World Record attempt at holding the largest business partnering event. The congress has its own automated one-on-one partnering system, which will allow nearly 1,400 partnering meetings per hour, with the grand total expected to be around 45,000 meetings over the course of four days.

Amid this frenzy of dealmaking, industry and healthcare leaders will also be discussing where the sector is heading - Jay Bradner and Paul Stoffels, R&D chiefs from Novartis and J&J respectively kicked things off yesterday, with Bill Gates adding his voice today. The first ever Henri A. Termeer Biotechnology Visionary Award will also be awarded today, created in honour of the late Genzyme CEO, who is seen as a founding father of Boston’s world-leading biotech hub. Read the BIO schedule here.


Greece’s Novartis bribery probe goes to the very top

Just as the scandal around its multi-million dollar payments to President Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen were dying down, Novartis is once again under suspicion of corruption.

Allegations of bribery payments from Novartis to a number of leading Greek politicians in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis - first emerged in February - and a judicial review, is now underway to establish if the allegations are true.

10 former government officials, including two former prime ministers - Antonis Samaras and Panagiotis Pikrammenos - are implicated in the case, which alleges that the politicians took bribes to ensure Novartis products were prescribed and its prices maintained.

Read more:

Novartis bribery probe in Greece ‘could affect general election’


Jeremy Hunt becomes longest serving Health Secretary ever

Jeremy Hunt has surpassed all his predecessors in the NHS’ nearly 70 year history by becoming the longest serving health secretary ever.  As of today he has served for five years and 275 days, overtaking the previous holder, Margaret Thatcher’s health secretary Norman Fowler.

Hunt’s longevity has been despite a tumultuous period for the health service, including the steepest ever deceleration in government spending on the NHS, and angry confrontations between Hunt and junior doctors and a strike over their new contract in 2015.

Read more at The Guardian:

Jeremy Hunt is the longest-serving health secretary? How did that happen?

And Incisive Health:

If history repeats itself, why is preparing for the future so hard?

Article by
Andrew McConaghie

5th June 2018

From: Marketing



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