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In every issue we look back over the previous 3 months and highlight the top M&As and appointments in the pharmaceutical industry.

Eli Lilly Announces ARMO Acquisition

In early May, Eli Lilly confirmed their agreement to buy ARMO BioSciences for $1.6 billion, only months after ARMO went public. “The acquisition of ARMO BioSciences adds a promising next generation clinical immunotherapy asset to Lilly’s portfolio of innovative oncology medicines”, says Sue Mahony, Vice President and President of Oncology, Eli Lilly.

GSK buys out Novartis

GlaxoSmithKline bought Novartis out of their consumer health joint venture for a total of $13 billion (36.5% stake). Essentially, this means that GSK will now have full control over some household-name products such as Sensodyne and Voltaren. Emma Walmsley, CEO, GSK says: “For the group, the transaction is expected to benefit adjusted earnings and cash flows, helping us accelerate efforts to improve performance. Most importantly, it also removes uncertainty and allows us to plan use of our capital for other priorities, especially pharmaceuticals R&D.”

Takeda buys Shire

Unless you have spent the last month living beneath a rock, it will not come as news that after weeks of discussions and negotiations, Japanese pharmaceutical giant Takeda reached an agreement to buy Shire for $62 billion. However, it was recently reported that a group of Takeda’s shareholders are uniting together to block the deal, though they will need support from at least 33% of the shareholders to achieve this. If this acquisition progresses, it will not only mark one of the most significant acquisitions in the history of pharma, but it will also record the largest ever takeover by a Japanese company. “We firmly believe that this combination recognises the strong growth potential of our leading products and innovative pipeline and is in the best interests of our shareholders, our patients, and the communities we serve”, says Susan Kilsby, Chairman, Shire.

Axovant Appoints Allergan’s Chief Medical Officer

Gavin Corcoran will soon be stepping down as the Chief Medical Officer of Allergan to take up the position of Executive Vice President of R&D at Axovant. “I look forward to working closely with the senior management team to bring new investigational medicines into the portfolio as we build upon Axovant’s capabilities in R&D”, notes Corcoran in a statement.

GSK Appoints Kevin Sin

GlaxoSmithKline recently announced the appointment of Kevin Sin as Senior Vice President and Head of Worldwide Business Development for Pharmaceuticals R&D. Sin, who is currently Vice President of Oncology Business Development at Genentech, will join the pharma giant in July. He comments: “I am thrilled to be joining GSK at such an exciting time and important stage of the company’s growth. The incredible pace of scientific and technical innovation that is happening around the world is significant and presents an abundance of opportunities to combine GSK’s strengths and capabilities with that of others to pursue big ideas in science and medicine.”

Lisa Anson Moves to Redx Pharma

AstraZeneca’s UK President, Lisa Anson, recently announced that she will be joining Redx Pharma as their new CEO. Upon announcing the news, Redx’s shares soared by 48%, showing that the pharma heavyweight has a lot of value to add to the organisation. “I am confident that as CEO, she is the right person to grow this company into a very exciting and meaningful entity that has the potential to create both important new medicines for patients and generate significant value for shareholders”, commented Ian Ross, Chairman, Redx.

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