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Hello, everyone, and how are you today? We are doing just fine, thank you, despite a busy schedule caused by a road trip to the Woodstock-like gathering of biotech types. As you might imagine, this requires finding cups of stimulation at regular intervals. Perhaps you can relate. After all, this is an exceedingly busy few days, yes? Well, wherever you are or whatever you may be doing, feel free to join us. Firing up the neurons can be helpful. On that note, here are some tidbits to help you along. Hope your day goes well and do drop us a line if something interesting pops up …

A group of shareholders, including several founding family members of Takeda Pharmaceutical (TKPYY), are trying to derail the $62 billion acquisition of Shire (SHPG), blasting the deal as “the height of madness,” The Financial Times reports. The dissidents, who hired a former UBS analyst to back their campaign, hold 1 percent of Takeda stock, giving them little real power to overturn the takeover. But their offensive has drawn outsized attention in a country where founding family voices hold emotional sway over votes of mom-and-pop investors, who account for a quarter of Takeda shareholders.


The U.S. government’s payment policies for CAR-T therapies, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, are just beginning to take shape but will likely have trickle-down effects on insurance coverage decisions throughout the country, and affect how enthusiastically doctors and hospitals start offering the therapies to patients, STAT says. The decisions about how to pay for the therapies, moreover, could serve as early signals of how it plans to use innovative new ways to pay for drugs — one of the key pillars of the broader effort to bring down drug prices using regulatory authority.

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