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Morning brief: Takeda closes in on $64bn merger, GSK unveils team, and more

A rapid run-down of news in pharma, biotech and healthcare

ShireTakeda looks close to finally securing the acquisition of Shire, after pursuing the company for a month.

The Japanese pharma company put in a fifth bid yesterday worth £46bn ($64bn), offering a mix of cash and shares which will give Shire shareholders a 50% stake in the new company.

If and when Shire’s board and shareholders give the deal the final green light, there will undoubtedly be delight and relief at Takeda’s headquarters in Osaka, but market reactions to the negotiations show investors will have to be convinced that the deal will create value. Read more here.

GlaxoSmithKline presents its results from the first quarter later today, with updates on key launches, the new $13bn buy-out of Novartis from the consumer health joint venture, and the unveiling of new senior leaders.

Emma WalmsleyThe firm is undergoing a rapid reinvigoration as chief executive Emma Walmsley assembles a new top executive team across all functions.  Expected to be present on the call this afternoon is Hal Barron, the firm’s new Chief Scientific Officer and President of R&D, who Walmsley headhunted for his track record in innovation.  The ex-Genentech supremo will have also helped bring on board Kevin Sin, his former colleague at the Californian biotech who will now head up GSK’s worldwide business development for R&D.

While these appointments add to the mainly positive news flow at the UK big pharma firm, Walmsley can expect a grilling from analysts on the $13bn outlay on the consumer division, with pressure to demonstrate that it will add value and not dilute the focus on its pharma division.

Promises that the NHS and social care will get a long-term funding boost are being firmed up by Theresa May’s government. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt wrote to Conservative MPs earlier this week, suggesting that firm policy proposals - including a possible ring-fenced fund - will be announced within weeks.

The Government has been repeatedly warned about the growing demands on the system - including a million more over 70s by 2020 than five years before, with the number of over 85s nearly doubling by 2035.

There are a number of additional political factors also driving the decision. Firstly, many people who voted for Brexit believed that it would free up extra money for the NHS. Secondly, the NHS celebrates its own 70th birthday on 5 July, and the Government is likely to unveil the long-term funding in time for this milestone.

ABPIThe annual conference of the UK pharma industry organisation the ABPI is held tomorrow in London, and finds the industry at a crossroads.

The agenda will undoubtedly be dominated by a handful of key questions: what kind of Brexit will we get, and will it harm the UK life science sector as feared? Negotiations on the UK medicines pricing deal the PPRS are getting underway, and must be agreed by December - will the sector get a good deal? Also, just what kind of market access can groundbreaking new products like Novartis’ Kymriah expect from an increasingly cost-conscious NHS England?

Look out for Pharma Market Europe’s live coverage on Twitter from the conference tomorrow.

Article by
Andrew McConaghie

25th April 2018

From: Sales

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