Promising news for pharmaceutical M&A, with Japanese Takeda Pharmaceutical preparing to bid for Shire, Novartis announcing plans to buy AveXis and GlaxoSmithKline divesting its rare disease portfolio to British Orchard Therapeutics. In other UK new, the country also passed a tax on sugary drinks. On a slightly less positive note, vTv Therapeutics’ azeliragon, another Alzheimer’s drug, failed in phase III trials.
In Mexico, regulation concerning medical marijuana remains in the spotlight. Also in the spotlight, were doctor’s walkouts to protest the detention of two colleagues.
Read our blog on recent discoveries linking DNA changes to diabetes type 2 in obese people and don’t miss our interview of the week with the Medical Director of Seguros Atlas for an insight on the Mexican insurance sector.
Now, jump into last week’s highlights:
Mexican regulation on the use of medical marijuana moves forward within the Mexican Commission of Regulatory Improvement (Cofemer).
Doctors in several states performed walkouts to protest the detention of two colleagues after the death of a child. The doctors are being accused of medical negligence but strikers blame poor hospital conditions for the death.
Japanese Takeda Pharmaceutical moves closer to bid for Shire in a move that could be as high as US$50 billion. The Japanese pharmaceutical is expected to bid before April 25 and was recently reported to be sounding out its creditors in preparation.
Novartis announces plans to buy AveXis, a gene therapy company, for US$8.7 billion to strengthen its neuroscience division. This move will allow Novartis to incorporate several drugs including AVXS-101, a therapy for spinal muscular atrophy.
More bad news for Alzheimer’s as another drug, vTv Therapeutics’ azeliragon, fails to outperform a placebo in phase III trials. This is only the latest in a series of setbacks in the development of an effective drug to treat Alzheimer’s.
Orchard Therapeutics, a British company focused on the development of gene therapies, acquires GlaxoSmithKline’s rare disease portfolio.
The UK becomes one of the handful of countries to tax sugar in drinks, joining Mexico, France and Norway. Drinks with over 8g per 100 ml will have to pay a 24-pence (US$0.34) per liter tax.