Pfizer Slashes Sales Jobs, Merck & GE Affiliate Collaborate: Healthcare Business Update

Inside sources say that Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is sacking nearly one-fifth of its approximate 3,000-person sales force for primary-care drugs, since it lost its patent in 2011 on its top-selling drug Lipitor. The job cuts are supposed to start in December, as a part of the firm’s continuing endeavors to reduce costs, said the source.

Galena Biopharma (GALE) announced Tuesday the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 15,156,250 units at a public offering price of $1.60 per unit, which come to total gross proceeds of $24.25 million. Each unit is comprised of one share of common stock, and a warrant to purchase one-half share of common stock at an exercise price of $1.90. The warrants are immediately exercisable and will expire on the fifth anniversary of the date of issuance. The offering should close on December 21st, subject to the usual closing conditions.

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Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) and General Electric Company’s (NYSE:GE) GE Healthcare division have reached a clinical study collaboration, license and supply agreement for the use of Flutemetamol, which is an investigational positron emission tomography imaging agent, in support of Merck’s development of MK-8931, a novel oral beta amyloid precursor protein site cleaving enzyme inhibitor and Merck’s lead investigational candidate for Alzheimer’s disease.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VNDA) reports positive results from the Safety and Efficacy of Tasimelteon Phase III study, evaluating tasimelteon, which is a circadian regulator that treats Non-24-Hour Disorder. Tasimelteon succeeded in the primary endpoint of Entrainment of the melatonin (aMT6s) rhythm versus a  placebo. Further, the drug showed significant improvements across several sleep and wake parameters including measures of total sleep time, nap duration, and timing of sleep.

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