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Good morning, everyone, and nice to see you again after a much-welcomed and extended break thanks, in part, to a holiday on this side of the pond. Now, though, the time has come, once again, to gear up for the usual routine of online meetings, calls, and deadlines. The world, such as it is, continues to spin, no matter how we try to slow it down. So we are succumbing to reality and relying on a few cups of stimulation to cope. Our choice today is chocolate raspberry. Please feel free to join us. Meanwhile, here is the latest line up of items of interest. Hope your day goes well, and do keep in touch. We are always happy to make new pen pals. …

Illumina will have to divest Grail after the European Union vetoed the $7.1 billion acquisition over concerns it would hurt competition and stifle innovation, Reuters reports. The European Commission, which acts as the competition enforcer in the 27-country bloc, said that Illumina’s remedies did not adequately address its concerns. Illumina completed the deal in August last year ahead of EU regulatory approval, resulting in an EU order to keep Grail separate and appoint independent managers to run the company until the investigation was concluded. Illumina said it would challenge the EU veto.


CVS Health is betting $8 billion that the house call is the future of health care, The Wall Street Journal writes. Its deal to acquire Signify, a home-health care company, will add 10,000 contracted doctors and clinicians and give CVS a hand in coordinating medical care for millions of Americans. For years, CVS has worked to transform itself from a pharmacy chain to an integrated provider of medical services, with the biggest step being its acquisition of Aetna, the insurer. Initially, CVS envisioned a model centered on pharmacists, in-store clinics, and a giant insurance business. But CVS chief executive officer Karen Lynch determined doctors must be on its payroll to fulfill those ambitions.

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