* The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended Merck KGaA's head and neck cancer drug Erbitux for routine National Health Service use.
M&A and capital markets
* Galena Biopharma Inc. will be acquired by SELLAS Life Sciences Group Ltd. in a reverse takeover after Galena announced that it was exploring strategic alternatives. The combined company will continue trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market under ticker symbol SLS.
* Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. launched an underwritten public offering of $1.5 billion of its common stock to fund a portion of the consideration payable for its acquisition of Patheon NV. Meanwhile, Thermo Fisher (CN) Luxembourg Sàrl extended the offering period of its tender offer for Patheon.
* Activist investor Scopia Capital Management LP called on Acorda Therapeutics Inc.'s board to review all strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company.
* PRA Health Sciences Inc. agreed to acquire Symphony Health Solutions Corp. for an up-front cash payment of $530 million.
Drug and product pipeline
* The U.S. FDA rejected Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.'s investigative eye drops for patients with open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
* Gemphire Therapeutics Inc.'s phase 2b study of cholesterol drug gemcabene failed to match results observed in previous studies of the treatment, though it met its primary endpoint.
* Otsuka Holdings Co. Ltd. reported consolidated profit attributable to shareholders for the first half of fiscal year 2017 of ¥42.43 billion, or ¥78.04 per share, down 14.5% from ¥49.61 billion, or ¥91.56 per share, in the year-ago period.
* The Israeli government urged Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. to bring jobs and operations back home, and hinted at the possibility of extending aid to the world's largest generic drugmaker, Bloomberg News reported.
* Endo International plc reached agreements to resolve most of its known U.S. liability claims for its vaginal mesh implant products and is engaged in discussions to resolve the known remaining U.S. claims at reasonable values.
* Coherus Biosciences is seeking to invalidate Amgen Inc.'s patent regarding etanercept, the main component of rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng climbed 0.59% to 27,854.91, while the Nikkei 225 fell 0.30% to 19,996.01.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 gained 0.01% to 7,532.67 and the Euronext 100 rose 0.02% to 1,013.21.
Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence:
* BTG aims for FTSE 100 as specialty medical devices outstrip snake venom antidote: CEO Louise Makin has every intention that BTG PLC will be known for more than its rattlesnake antivenom once she has finished building up the multibillion pound medical devices company that was a hodge-podge of loosely grouped intellectual property businesses when she took over some 13 years ago.
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