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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was somehow relaxing or rejuvenating, given current circumstances. In any event, the usual routine — such as it is — of deadlines, online meetings, and the like has predictably returned. So what better way to cope than with a cup of delicious stimulation. Our choice today, for those tracking this sort of thing, is cinnamon dolce. Please feel free to join us. Meanwhile, here are a few tidbits to get you going. Hope your day goes well, and do keep in touch. …

AstraZeneca (AZN) made a preliminary approach to Gilead Sciences (GILD) about a potential merger, Bloomberg News reports. AstraZeneca informally contacted Gilead last month to gauge interest in a possible deal but did not specify terms. Gilead has discussed the idea with advisers, but no decisions have been made on how to proceed. “Does AstraZeneca really need this? We argue no,” wrote Wolfe Research analyst Tim Anderson to investors. And The Times of London says AstraZeneca has since cooled on the idea.


Oxford Biomedica (OXBDF), which is working with AstraZeneca on a potential Covid-19 vaccine, has signed a new manufacturing agreement with a group backed by the U.K. government to help scale up production and cater to demand in the United Kingdom and Europe, Reuters says. The gene and cell therapy company agreed to a five-year partnership with the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) for equipment at its facility in Oxford, U.K., which would also help it make other vaccines.

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