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article imageRound-up of the week's pharmaceutical industry news

By Tim Sandle     Nov 1, 2015 in Business
Digital Journal has assessed the key developments in the pharmaceutical sector this week and brings you the latest company mergers, suspect business practices, and ‘structural adjustments.’
The pharmaceutical sector is increasingly fluid with smaller start-up being purchased by medium sized competitors. Rarely a week goes by without a change to the landscape. The main news this week is that pharmaceutical company SciVac Therapeutics has put in a bid to purchase rival VBI Vaccines. Although reported as a merger, SciVac is the bigger company and the plan is to create a commercial-stage company.
The new company will launch an already licensed hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine. In addition, other preventative and therapeutic vaccine candidates are being considered. Dr. Curtis Lockshin, Ph.D., who is currently SciVac's Chief Executive Officer, said to Pharmaceutical Processing Magazine: “The acquisition of VBI provides SciVac with access to an impressive portfolio of vaccine candidates that may address large unmet needs in both infectious diseases and oncology.”
As a result of the merger, SciVac will adopted the name VBI Vaccines Inc. As a result of the new organization, OPKO Health, Inc. will be the largest shareholder holding around 14 percent of the issued and outstanding shares.
While Scivac employees are no doubt happy, there was not so much good news at Biogen. The company, according to Pharmaceutical Processing, has announced that 880 staff are to lose their jobs and a number of major projects are to be stopped.
The third piece of news is about Valeant Pharmaceuticals. The company is currently in the spotlight over certain business practices. The company manufacturers several neurology, dermatology and eye care products.
Valeant’s stock has fallen in recent weeks for two reasons, CTV News has discovered. The first relates to an on-going investigation by U.S. authorities about pricing. The charge here relates to attempting to manipulate the market in relation to heart medications, in order, it is alleged, to increase monopolization and profits. The charge is based on claims made by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO.)
The second concerns a report issued by report by Citron Research, where the research group accuse Valeant of setting up phantom pharmacies to fool auditors. In the report, Valeant is described as "the pharmaceutical Enron."
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