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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week, although this will be an abbreviated session on this side of the pond, thanks to a looming holiday. Nonetheless, the world keeps spinning, so we are undertaking our usual routine of meetings, deadlines, and due diligence in our quest to provide interesting items for your journey. On that note, time to get cracking. So please join us as we fire up the coffee kettle and dig in. Hope your day is smashing and, as always, please do keep in touch …

Astra Zeneca (AZN) has begun succession planning for Pascal Soriot, its chief executive of six years, after pressure from shareholders, the Times of London reports. The drug maker, which suffered the failure of a big lung cancer trial last week, has engaged headhunters to assess internal candidates. However, Soriot is not expected to leave imminently, despite rumors last year linking him to Teva Pharmaceutical, but shareholders have warned the company needs to prepare. Recently, Soriot said he has “no plans to move on.”

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