by Biotech Express Bureau
Cabinet approves bill for setting up of National Commission for Indian System of Medicine
The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the Centre of Excellence for Sickle Cell Anaemia, Thalassemia and Other Genetic Blood Disorders at the Prathima Institute of Medical Sciences in Karimnagar, Telangana today (December 22, 2018).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that our country has made significant strides in the field of healthcare. However, we still have a long way to go in evolving a holistic healthcare system, one which is uniformly affordable and accessible. Strengthening public hospitals, municipal hospitals, charitable hospitals and primary health and wellness clinics must receive priority. This apart, we need to spread awareness on healthcare issues especially in rural areas and among disadvantaged sections.
Source: PIB, India
Eli Lilly to acquire Loxo Oncology for $8 billion
Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced Monday it will acquire Loxo Oncology for around $8 billion, the latest big transaction aimed at developing and monetizing new treatments for cancer. The deal supplements Eli Lilly’s pipeline of cancer-oriented medicines with assets from Loxo, which was incorporated in 2013 and has a number of promising treatments at various stages of development. Under the terms of Monday’s deal—which follows last week’s $74 billion announced takeover of Celgene by Bristol-Myers Squibb— Eli Lilly will pay $235 per share in cash, or about $8 billion, for Stanford, Connecticut-based Loxo.
The deal, which represents a premium of some 68 percent over Loxo Oncology’s closing share price on Friday, is expected to close by the end of the first quarter, the companies said in a statement. Loxo’s product pipeline is centered on treating patients when there is an inappropriate DNA change that can be discovered through genomic
testing. The company aims to develop targeted therapies that can impede the progression of these diseases.
A key driver for the deal because of near-term commercial potential is a treatment for lung, thyroid and some other tumors, Eli Lilly executives said on a conference call.
Eli Lilly executives said the company could still do additional acquisitions in the coming period. “We’ll continue to look in oncology, as well as other therapeutic areas,” Eli Lilly Chief Executive David Ricks said on a conference call with analysts.
Bayer Gets Rare Monsanto Reprieve With Cotton Seed Ruling
Bayer AG’s Monsanto won a legal battle to own patents on genetically-modified cotton seeds in India, the world’s biggest producer of the fiber, in a rare piece of good news for the German company.
India’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Monsanto’s patent for Bt cotton seeds is valid, overturning a judgment by the High Court of Delhi that said certain items such as seeds, plants and animals can’t be patented. A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, referred the matter to the lower court saying that all aspects related to Monsanto’s patents on genetically-modified seeds can be considered by the Delhi court.
The ruling is a boost for Monsanto, which faced the risk of losing revenues without a claim over exclusive rights in India, as the company faces legal challenges in the U.S. over allegations that its Roundup weed killer can cause cancer as well as a backlash in Europe over genetically modified organisms. The verdict may also boost foreign investors’ confidence about the validity of patents awarded to firms in India.
“Pirates cannot be innovators,” said Ashok Gulati, a professor at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations in New Delhi. “If we are to respect intellectual property only then we can expect to access the best technologies in the world.”
The ruling may prompt some biotech companies to revive expansion plans that were placed on hold amid restrictions imposed by the government and local courts in recent years.
The high court’s ruling “essentially means that the patent is in force,” said a spokesman for Bayer in India. Shares of the German company rose 2.2 percent to 65.39 euros in Frankfurt trading.
Shares of Kaveri Seed Co. erased gains to drop as much as 3.6 percent on Tuesday, while Monsanto India Ltd. jumped as much as 13.5 percent in high volumes after the verdict.
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