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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week, although today is actually a holiday on this side of the pond. So consider this something of a bonus feature. If nothing else, this is an opportunity to take a moment to quickly catch up on events over a cup or two of stimulation before pursuing other matters. And for those of you entrenched in the usual routine, well, time to get cracking. Whatever your pursuit, we hope your day goes well and look forward to engaging during the rest of the week…

Merck is eyeing a purchase of Seagen in order to beef up its portfolio of cancer drugs, according to The Wall Street Journal. Talks have been under way for a while and a deal is not imminent, because pulling one off could be tricky given the heightened risk of a regulatory challenge. It is possible the companies could end up striking a marketing agreement instead. Seagen helped pioneer a class of cancer therapy that works like a guided missile attacking tumors with toxins. By acquiring Seagen, Merck would bolster its lineup of cancer drugs, led by the blockbuster immunotherapy Keytruda, its top-selling product with $17.2 billion in sales last year.


Pfizer agreed to invest $95 million to buy an 8.1% percent stake in Valneva. The funds will be put toward their partnership to develop a Lyme disease vaccine, The Financial Times writes. A Phase 3 trial of a vaccine candidate is expected to begin later this year. The transaction will be seen as a vote of confidence in Valneva, which has weathered turmoil with its Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Last week, Valneva reached an undisclosed settlement with the U.K. government over a vaccine procurement contract worth up to $1.4 billion that London cancelled last year over lower effectiveness as a booster when compared with rival vaccines.

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