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Shadrach   in Stocks & Shares

Last updated: 09 January 2020, 04:54 GMT

The pound and the FTSE 100 started positive and maintained. The Brexit waiting game goes on. Commons Speaker John Bercow refused the government’s call to hold another vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

The healthcare sector was prominent. Pharma giants AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline both had updates, albeit with no big impact on their share prices.

AZN announced its Farxiga treatment has been approved in the US to reduce the risk of hospitalization for heart failure in patients with type-2 diabetes. GSK revealed it’s agreed to divest its rabies and tick-borne encephalitis vaccines to Danish firm Bavarian Nordic. This for an upfront payment of €301m (£259m), with milestone payments taking the total consideration up to €955m (£822m). Meanwhile, Circassia Pharmaceuticals announced the US launch of Duaklir for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The company described the launch as a major strategic milestone”

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The market shrugged, and sent the small-cap firm’s shares a few percent lower.

Returning to the FTSE 100, healthcare firm Smith Nephew saw a big move in its shares. Down. As much as 10% at one point. This followed a shock announcement that chief executive Namal Nawana is stepping down after less than 18 months in the job.

The company said Nawana will leave on 31 October, “by mutual agreement … to pursue other opportunities outside of the UK.”

Behind this are reports the company couldn’t, or wouldn’t, meet his demands for higher pay, in line with the bosses of US medical device-makers.




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