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Good morning, everyone, and how are you today? We are doing just fine, thank you, helped along by a warm and shiny sun enveloping the otherwise chilly Pharmalot campus. This gives us hope that spring is near. Meanwhile, though, we are keeping busy with the usual sundry tasks and firing up the trusty coffee kettle for cups of stimulation. After all, there is much to be done and, no doubt, you can relate. So here is the lovingly assembled menu of tidbits to help you along. Have a smashing day and do keep in touch….

The head of the Sandoz generic unit at Novartis (NVS) is quitting after the drug maker sold parts of the business and initiated an 18-month revamp, fueling speculation about an eventual spinoff or sale, Reuters tells us. Richard Francis ran the unit since 2014. Sandoz last year sold a U.S. pills and dermatology portfolio to Aurobindo and began a “de-integration” of the division from the rest of Novartis, a process that is expected to stretch into 2020 and clear the way for talks about the future of the unit. Francesco Balestrieri, who heads Sandoz in Europe, will run the business.


The Trump administration announcement that Ned Sharpless will become acting Food and Drug Administration commissioner has thrilled longtime colleagues and offered continuity, if not popularity, for the tobacco and pharmaceutical interests he will regulate, STAT writes. Sharpless, a cancer doctor and research veteran who has founded two biotech companies, is seen as a likely candidate not just to become a placeholder after Scott Gottlieb departs, but also to lead it long-term — giving the Trump administration a popular and mainstream FDA chief.

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