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Greek prosecutors raid Novartis offices, disclose wide-ranging probe into bribery allegations
Greek officials announced that they are investigating Novartis for bribery in the wake of local media reports raising questions about the company. It is the fourth set of bribery allegations against the Swiss drugmaker to go public in the past year. Greek authorities have interviewed scores of sources and raided Novartis offices in Greece, according to multiple local news outlets. Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis ordered the inquiry after “denunciations concerning bribes paid to functionaries by Novartis” appeared in the press.
Sanofi, Regeneron one step closer to owing PCSK9 royalties as judge upholds Amgen patent ruling
Amgen has been in a tight race with Sanofi and Regeneron to win market acceptance for a new class of drugs that fight ultra-high cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme called PCSK9—a fight that includes a patent-infringement claim. On Tuesday, Amgen kept the upper hand in that patent case, which could put the company in line to collect royalties from Sanofi’s and Regeneron’s treatment.
Pharma’s deal prices have quadrupled in the last two years
Drugmakers shelled out twice as much for acquisitions in 2016 as they did in 2015—and it wasn’t because those buys were twice as valuable. Cheap credit and an industrywide scramble to boost pipelines have together inflated the prices pharma’s paying, and that trend isn’t necessarily over. The median value of a pickup in 2016 was 39 times the takeover target’s revenue, compared with 19 times revenue in 2015 and eight times in 2014.
J&J and Actelion’s potential deal fix? $260 per share for marketed meds, spinoff for pipeline
Would-be deal partners Johnson & Johnson and Actelion are onto their second round of talks, and this time, Actelion may just get the transaction it’s been hoping for. The pair is hammering out a pact that would split Actelion’s commercialized meds from its R&D assets. Actelion’s pipeline prospects would spin off into a new publicly traded company, while J&J would snap up the marketed meds with a cash offer in the neighborhood of $260 per share—slightly more than the figure the New Jersey Company offered up before throwing in the towel last month.