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Teva's generic HIV medicine enters US market; drug price hikes shrink

Top news

* Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. launched the first generic version of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s HIV-1 drug Reyataz in the U.S. The treatment, also known as atazanavir, had annual sales of about $402 million in the U.S.

* Average annual price hikes for 20 top-selling brand-name prescription drugs in the U.S. have declined for at least 4 consecutive years, STAT reported, citing data from Truven Health Analytics Inc.

M&A and capital markets

* Alliance Pharma plc completed its acquisition of the worldwide rights to TyraTech Inc.'s head lice treatment Vamousse. TyraTech's shareholders approved the deal on Dec. 27.

Operational activity

* The Court of Appeal for the district of Munich in Germany dismissed Novartis AG's appeal in a patent infringement lawsuit against Luye Pharma Group Ltd.'s Rivastigmine 1 day patch, a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

* UAE-based private equity business TVM Capital Healthcare Partners started a $250 million healthcare fund that would invest in areas such as cancer and pharmaceuticals in markets including the Gulf, Turkey, India, Egypt and Singapore, Reuters reported, citing a senior executive of the firm.

* Evan Greebel, a former lawyer for Retrophin Inc., was found guilty of helping former Retrophin CEO Martin Shkreli misappropriate $11 million from the company to pay back investors after risky trades by the executive, Bloomberg News reported. Shkreli was found guilty of fraud by a U.S. court in August.

Other features

* Republicans are under pressure to steady the country's healthcare system after President Donald Trump signed the tax cut bill, which removed a requirement for every American to have health insurance or pay a fine, known as the individual mandate, under the Affordable Care Act, the Financial Times writes.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.90% to 29,863.71. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.56% to 22,783.98.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.14% to 7,631.42, while the Euronext 100 was down 0.04% to 1,041.59.

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