ood morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was refreshing and relaxing, because that predictable routine of meetings, deadlines the like has, of course, returned. This did not take too long, did it? Well, what can you do except to join us for a lovely cup or three of stimulation. Our flavor today is, once again, coconut, for those tracking this sort of thing. This means, though, that it is time to get cracking. So here you go: a few tidbits to get you started. Have a smashing day and please do keep in touch. We enjoy your postcards …

Novartis (NVS) agreed to pay $8.7 billion for AveXis (AVXS), a gene therapy company, as the big drug maker looks to deals to refresh its drug development pipeline. The move comes shortly after Novartis chief executive Vasant Narasimhan agreed to cash out of its consumer health joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline. The deal is a bet that at least one promising drug that AveXis is developing for therapies aimed at spinal muscular atrophy will translate into a blockbuster and, as STAT notes, is the second foray by Novartis into gene therapy this year.

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