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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was relaxing and invigorating, because the time has come to dive into the fast-growing to-do list of meetings, deadlines, and the like. You knew this would happen, yes? We find the best way to cope is to grab a cup of stimulation — our choice today is pecan pie — or a bottle of water, if you prefer. So time to get cracking. Hope you have a smashing day and do stay in touch …

A Japanese health ministry panel approved the withdrawal of a fast-track designation for Merck’s (MRK) Keytruda as a gastric cancer treatment after the rival Opdivo sold by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) was granted the indication, Pharma Japan tells us. Keytruda was awarded fast-track status in 2015, but after Opdivo was approved last month, the Merck drug no longer meets the novelty threshold, which is one of four eligibility criteria for fast-track designation.

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