M&As grabbed the international spotlight this past week, with Shire almost starting a bidding war between Takeda and Allergan, Astellas planning a shopping spree and an alliance between Bristol-Myers and Janssen Pharmaceuticals for the study of anticoagulants. In local news, Mexico is dealing with a high rate of teen pregnancy and the local association of OTC manufacturers said they could help the government save millions in public money.
Interested in neurotoxins, their medical uses and the potential impact to those in Mexico? Read this week’s featured interview with Víctor Anaya, CEO of Merz Pharma. And don’t miss Alessa Flores’ blog on Coahuila’s innovative strategy to use dogs to detect cancer in humans.
Jump into the past week’s headlines:
The Mexican Minister of Health decried the high rate of teen pregnancy in the country. He states that 42.1 percent of pregnancies happen between 10 and 17 years of age.
The Association of OTC Manufacturers promoted self-diagnosis and the acquisition of OTCs as a budget conscious strategy that can save the government up to MX$44 million per year.
British pharmaceutical Shire almost started a bidding war after rejecting Takeda’s US$63 billion offer. Allergan stated an interest in bidding for Shire but backed off the following day. If successful, the acquisition of Shire by Takeda might rank among the highest in the history of pharmaceuticals.
Gilead’s Kite acquired Astellas’ research facilities in California. Astellas, the second-largest pharmaceutical company in Japan, is undergoing a restructuration and aims to spend US$1.86 billion to acquire new drugs from startups during the next three years.
Bristol-Myers joined Janssen Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialization of anticoagulants to reduce the risk of vascular events.
Medicines & Vaccines
Roche’s hemophilia medicine Hemlibra received the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy designation. The drug, which reduces bleeding episodes in adults, faced several hurdles along the way, including the death of five patients.
WHO has recommended testing individuals for Dengue before using Sanofi’s vaccine, after the pharmaceutical warned of the increased risk of severe dengue in people who had no previous exposure to the disease.