Craving respiratory dominance, AstraZeneca inks $2.1B deal for Almirall’s lung meds

AstraZeneca has agreed to pay $875 million up front–and up to $2.2 billion total, with milestones–for Almirall's respiratory portfolio. The deal brings a couple of marketed drugs, and a list of pipeline meds that includes a combo drug Almirall is developing with U.S.-based Forest Laboratories.

Will he or won’t he? Pfizer CEO scouts big deals, but ‘silent’ on AstraZeneca rebid

No news isn't good or bad for Pfizer deal-watchers. It's just no news. Anyone hoping for a halfway-clear idea of CEO Ian Read's next buyout move was disappointed after Tuesday's second-quarter earnings call with analysts.

Want to claim a name? FDA needs your input on locking down brand monikers

Advertising experts have a few tricks up their sleeves when concocting a drug's proprietary name–like Zytiga, Xtandi and Xeljanz–that might thrust the product to success. Now, the FDA is looking for ideas about allowing drugmakers to reserve these names in advance–with a few rules.

China sets trial date for GSK-tied investigators, says it will be ‘open’

China will try two private investigators tied to GlaxoSmithKline's operations there in just over a week on charges of illegally purchasing personal information about Chinese nationals, a Chinese court said. And according to state news agency Xinhua, all are welcome to attend.

J&J, Pharmacyclics celebrate yet another nod for leukemia med Imbruvica

Johnson & Johnson's new blood cancer drug Imbruvica (ibrutinib) is on a roll. The FDA just armed the drug with a new indication in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, adding to a series of regulatory nods.

Don’t get too excited, investors: GSK has no near-term plans for consumer health spinoff

Let GlaxoSmithKline be clear: It's open to spinning off its consumer healthcare division at some nebulous point in the future. But it's not happening anytime soon.

Merck beats Q2 earnings estimates, but mostly on cost-cutting

Merck surprised Wall Street analysts today when it announced that its net profit in the second quarter jumped to $2 billion from $906 million in the same period a year ago, and that it was raising the lower end of its income forecast for 2014. But it's not exactly time to pop out the champagne corks and declare a successful turnaround.

AstraZeneca rolls out preemie newspaper ads to fight Synagis limits

Drugmakers cheer when influential doctors' groups revise treatment guidelines to include new drugs. But as AstraZeneca's MedImmune unit knows, those groups can backpedal. 

Merck spokeswoman: Sales layoffs to hit PA-based field reps

The job-cutting ax has come out for Merck's U.S. field force, as part of a move to cut 600 positions by August. 

Sources: Hospira in talks to pick up Danone nutrition biz and a tax cut

The string of pharma M&A deals fueled by the lure of cutting taxes continues and Midwest-based Hospira is now said to be about to take the plunge. Its vehicle of choice is the medical nutrition business of France's Danone, which sources say it is negotiating to buy in a deal that could run to $5 billion.

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