Not a big weekend for our particular brand of scuttlebutt, but here are a few tidbits of alliance- and health-care-oriented news that IN VIVO Blog picked up on over the weekend and in the wee hours of Monday morning ...
- You may have heard that a small and little-discussed film called "SiCKO" was released in the US ... we haven't seen it yet but will likely comment once we have. We know of at least one big fan!
- Late on Friday, Theravance said that GSK passed on its option to acquire 50% of the biotech's shares at $54.25. The option was a big part of the companies' 2004 deal that gave GSK the opportunity to cherry pick compounds from Theravance's pipeline (while simultaneously giving Theravance's shareholders a put option well north of the firm's IPO price). We wrote extensively about Theravance's strategy here.
- Novartis wades further into vaccines this morning with a broad alliance with the Austrian biotech Intercell. For €270 million in upfront equity (€150mm) and cash/option payments Novartis is securing options to more than 10 Intercell programs, from preclinical through Phase II. Novartis now owns 16.1% of Intercell.
- Finally, England's ban on smoking in public places took effect at 6am on Sunday, and we rejoiced. Now the UK-based members of our transatlantic blogging team can enjoy an ale at the pub without stinking like we've enjoyed an ale at the pub.