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Good morning, and welcome back to the working week. Rebecca Robbins here, filling in for Ed Silverman, with your roundup of headlines from the pharma universe. We hope your long weekend was restful and that the rush of deadlines and meetings and conference calls isn’t rushing in too fast. Do drop us a line if you hear something interesting.

Novartis is weighing unloading assets such as its surgical devices and contact lenses businesses acquired by way of Alcon, its big stake in Roche, and its over-the-counter drugs collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, Reuters tells us. If realized, those sales could raise $50 billion, but investors aren’t thrilled with the prospect of loading Novartis up with cash, given the Swiss drugmaker’s spotty history when it comes to pulling off megadeals.

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  • One should note that the NVS debt to equity ration (today = 0.4625), while not high for the industry, is the highest for NVS in 5 years. Some of those billions might well be used to retire debt incurred by a flawed Alcon acquisition, perhaps?

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