Monday, October 20, 2008

While You Were Watching Game Seven

Our condolences to our readers (and fellow bloggers here at IVB) from Red Sox "nation". We don't know any Devil Rays fans, so we don't know where to offer our congratulations today (and direct our trash talk starting Wednesday).

Meanwhile, very little news out of industry over the weekend, and what news there was seems to stem from ongoing coverage of how the financial crisis and general economic implosion might affect the pharmaceutical industry. So far pharma has held up well in the grand scheme of things, while banks continue to get shellacked. On Sunday ING became the latest to get an injection of government cash when the Dutch central bank bought 10 billion euro worth of its shares.

So, while you were ignoring your 401k ...

  • The FT looks at pharma's collective cash and suggests more M&A is in the cards. GSK, for example, is slowing its buy-back program to reinforce its war chest for acquisitions. But the piece also notes that pharma on the whole is more geared than in the past, which could present some obstacles.
  • Novartis' Q3 results today is chock-full-o-news: 550 layoffs, management shuffling, branded sales good, generic sales not as good. Novartis also said it had very limited exposure to the ongoing financial crisis.
  • But meanwhile, Pfizer's head of European operations reminded German paper Die Welt, the crisis will almost certainly eventually impact national and private health insurers, which will pass on the pain to pharmaceutical companies. (h/t Reuters)
  • Life sciences start-ups continue to buck the trend, but overall investment by VCs was down again in the third quarter, reports the SF Chronicle.
  • Will GSK become a target for activist shareholders? (h/t Pharmagossip)
  • And finally ... one grammar-challenged question becomes a city's irony-tinged rallying cry: "Why Can't Us?"

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