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NICE rejects Roche's breast cancer drug; Boehringer to settle asset swap concern

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NICE rejects Roche's breast cancer drug; Boehringer to settle asset swap concern

* Boehringer Ingelheim agreed to divest certain animal health products in the U.S. to settle the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's complaint that the company's asset swap deal with Sanofi might be harmful for competition. The company will sell its companion animal vaccines business to Eli Lilly & Co. with Bayer AG purchasing its Elanco Animal Health and parasite control divisions.

* Meanwhile, Street Insider reported rumors of Novartis AG seeking to acquire Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a deal that could be announced in mid-January 2017.

* The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit revived a lawsuit against Medtronic PLC alleging the company misled investors by understating the risks of its Infuse bone growth product. The lawsuit was previously dismissed after a judge from a lower court held that plaintiffs were too late in filing claims against the company.

* The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence rejected Roche Holding Ltd.'s breast cancer drug Kadcyla calling it too expensive for routine funding by the country's National Health System. NICE's decision is preliminary, however, and the government body is open to consultation.

M&A and capital markets

* The Indian government approved the privatization of Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd., the country's first public sector drug manufacturing companies, the Press Trust of India reports. The government also signed off on the closure of Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

* Porton Fine Chemicals Ltd. plans to bid up to $30 million for U.S.-based company J-Star Research Inc., Reuters reported.

* McKesson Corp. acquired Rexall Health for C$2.9 billion after reaching an agreement with the Competition Bureau of Canada to divest stores in 26 local markets. The company also appointed Domenic Pilla to succeed Rexall Health's current CEO Jürgen Schreiber on Jan. 3, 2017.

* Knight Therapeutics Inc. plans to invest up to $2 million in Synergy CHC Corp. The company said it would make the investment if Synergy meets certain targets in 2017.

* Meanwhile, Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. raised $28.8 million in a bought-deal offering of shares and purchase warrants.

* Universal Health Services Inc. acquired the adult service division of Cambian Group PLC for £377 million. The deal adds 81 behavioral facilities which provide care to adults with mental health disorders.

Drug and product pipeline

* Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. entered the Japanese consumer diagnostic market with the launch of its ovulation predictor and pregnancy test kits in the country, Pharma Japan reported.

* Mylan NV launched a generic version of the Zovia contraceptive pills in the U.S. market. The ethynodiol diacetate and ethinyl estradiol tablets will be available in 1 milligram and 0.05-milligram doses, respectively.

* India's Lupin Ltd. secured tentative approval to market a generic version of Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Giazo for the treatment of mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis in male patients.

* NanoVibronix Inc. secured regulatory approval to commercialize its WoundShield device in Canada. The device facilitates soft tissue regeneration and wound healing by using ultrasound and is already approved in Europe.

* Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Research & Development LLC made a $15 million milestone payment to Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. for patient enrollment in a phase 2b clinical trial of JNJ-4178, a treatment for chronic hepatitis C patients without cirrhosis.

Operational activity

* Alere Inc. asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to reconsider its decision to revoke the Medicare billing privileges of its diabetes diagnostic business, Arriva Medical. The company filed an appeal with the CMS administrative law judge to reinstate Arriva's billing status for diabetes testing more than a month after it was revoked.

* Zydus Healthcare Ltd. acquired six brands from Merck & Co. Inc. that fall under the categories of men's health, women's health, wound management and cardiovascular therapy segments. The company did not disclose the financial terms of the acquisition.

* Provectus Biopharmaceuticals Inc. COO and interim CEO Peter Culpepper was fired after a special committee of the company's board found the executive to be improperly reimbursing expenses to himself.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.17% to 21,790.91, and the Nikkei 225 was down 1.32% to 19,145.14.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.09% to 7,099.65, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.11% to 931.49.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 6:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.