* Shire plc said in its latest earnings report that it was assessing strategic options for its neuroscience franchise, including an IPO. The company reported second-quarter non-GAAP earnings per American depositary share of $3.73, up from $3.38 a year earlier, and it expects non-GAAP earnings per ADS of between $14.80 and $15.20 for full year 2017.
* U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions launched a U.S. Department of Justice unit that will focus on opioid-related healthcare fraud using data to identify and prosecute individuals who are contributing to the opioid epidemic.
* According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the average basic premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan next year is anticipated to decline to about $33.50 a month, representing a decrease of roughly $1.20 below the actual average premium of $34.70 this year.
* Democratic and Republican U.S. governors called on President Donald Trump and Congress to continue the Affordable Care Act's cost sharing subsidies that help low-income Americans pay coverage as it is critical to stabilize the insurance marketplace, Reuters reported. Trump had threatened to end the ACA's cost-sharing reduction payments, which he called insurance "bailouts," unless Congress came up with a new plan for repealing the ACA.
* CVS Health Corp.'s pharmacy benefits unit will not cover Merck & Co. Inc.'s cholesterol drug Zetia, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s stimulant Nuvigil and Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd.'s high blood pressure medicine Benicar in 2018, but it added a Pfizer Inc. cancer drug and two Biogen Inc. multiple sclerosis options to its list.
* The Wall Street Journal carries a feature on how pharmaceutical companies are using artificial intelligence to examine biological systems that underpin diseases and, in turn, develop medicines that are more likely to be effective. For instance, Merck & Co. uses Atomwise Inc.'s technology to determine compounds that could be developed into therapies for neurological conditions.
* Drugmakers from around the world, including Eli Lilly and Co. and Novartis AG, are heading into India's remote regions to discover the healthcare needs of lower-income patients, Bloomberg News wrote. Among the diseases targeted by big pharmaceutical companies are diabetes and heart disease, cases of which have increased in rural areas.
M&A and capital markets
* Australia's CSL Ltd. completed its acquisition of an 80% stake in Wuhan Zhong Yuan Rui De Biological Products Co. Ltd., or Ruide, from China's Humanwell Healthcare Group Co. Ltd. for $352 million.
* Forward Pharma A/S shareholders approved a previously announced capital reduction under which the company will buy about €917.7 million worth of shares at €19.45 apiece.
Drug and product pipeline
* The U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence rejected Roche Holding AG's urothelial cancer drug Tecentriq for distribution under the National Health Service as the drug, which is priced at £3,807.69 for a 1,200-milligram vial, was deemed too costly for routine use.
* The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use is seeking additional data analyses related to the safety and efficacy of Puma Biotechnology Inc.'s breast cancer drug Nerlynx.
* The European Patent Office will grant Merck KGaA a patent covering the use of its proxy-CRISPR genome editing technology.
* A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted against the approval of Johnson & Johnson's experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug sirukumab because its benefits do not outweigh the risks. The decision echoes the analysis of FDA staff reviewers who said the drug had higher rates of death and cancers versus placebo in studies.
* Germany-based Merck KGaA's second-quarter pre-exceptional EBITDA fell 5.6% year over year to €1.09 billion, partly due to rising expenses in the healthcare business. The company confirmed that it expects pre-exceptional EBITDA of between €4.4 billion and €4.6 billion for the full year.
* Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. booked second-quarter non-GAAP net income of $487 million, or $4.17 a share, up 48% from $329 million, or $2.82 a share, a year earlier.
* Teva Pharmaceutical's second quarter non-GAAP EPS attributable to ordinary shareholders declined on a yearly basis to $1.02 from $1.27. The drugmaker revised its outlook for non-GAAP EPS for the full year to between $4.30 and $4.50, down from the previously expected range of $4.90 to $5.30.
* BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. reported a GAAP net loss of $36.8 million, or a 21 cents loss per share, for the second quarter, compared to a loss of $419.0 million, or a $2.58 loss per share, in the year-ago quarter.
* The New York Supreme Court dismissed Teva Pharmaceutical's fraud claims against Mexican brothers, Fernando and Leopoldo Espinosa, when they acquired Rimsa Pharmaceuticals in 2015, Globes reported. Judge Peter Sherwood, however, did not fully reject Teva's claims of breach of contract on the $2.3 billion takeover.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng decreased 0.28% to 27,531.01, and the Nikkei 225 declined 0.25% to 20,029.26.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.19% to 7,425.78, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.18% to 998.75.
The Daily Dose is updated as of 6:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.