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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. Those of you on our side of the pond had, of course, an extended respite thanks to a federal holiday, and we hope your time was relaxing and invigorating, because that oh-so-familiar routine of deadlines, meetings, and the like has now returned. There is only one thing to do in such situations: reach for a cup of stimulation. Our choice today is macadamia nut. Feel free to join us with whatever flavor you prefer. Or perhaps a spot of tea is in order. Remember, no prescription is required. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits to help you along. Hope you have a smashing day and do keep in touch …

An AstraZeneca (AZN) immunotherapy won approval from U.S. regulators for use in lung cancer, opening up a multibillion-dollar market for a medicine that has so far lagged behind competitors, Reuters tells us. Known as Imfinzi, the drug will be given to non-small cell lung cancer patients with inoperable mid-stage disease that has not spread widely, the first immunotherapy to be approved in this setting. The endorsement gives AstraZeneca a chance to intervene earlier in lung cancer, distinguishing it from rivals that have approval for tackling advanced or metastatic disease.


Novartis (NVS) is preparing to auction its U.S. generic pill business, which has struggled amid fierce price competition and has fared better in manufacturing hard-to-make generic drugs, such as injectables and inhalablesReuters reports. “There are significant pricing declines. At least in the medium term, we don’t see a shift to that situation, and so we’re assessing how best to optimize that given that dynamic,” Novartis chief executive Vasant Narasimhan told analysts last month. The generic pills business could fetch as much as $1.6 billion.

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