As Christmas nears, retailers in Australia say the lead-up to the holiday has not met expectations. The Australian Retailers Association said the country's retailers had expected sales to reach $38.7 billion this Christmas, but now doubt that will happen. "It will be a solid but not spectacular Christmas with a slight amount of growth on last year," said Margy Osmond, CEO of the Australian National Retailers Association.
Eli Lilly and Co. and Kowa Pharmaceuticals America agreed to jointly promote Kowa's cholesterol treatment Livalo in the U.S. The deal also includes a license for Lilly to commercialize the product in Latin America.
AstraZeneca is taking over French drugmaker Novexel in a deal potentially worth $505 million that will expand AstraZeneca's portfolio of anti-infective treatments. Forest Laboratories will shoulder half of the cost of the acquisition in exchange for U.S. marketing rights to AstraZeneca's ceftazidime and a licensing agreement for ceftaroline.
Merck & Co. and Arena Pharmaceuticals will end their development deal for atherosclerosis drug MK-1903 after it failed to meet midstage trial goals involving patients with dyslipidemia. "We are disappointed that the trial results did not lead to further development of this program, but it has been a pleasure to work with Merck and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate again," Arena CEO Jack Lief said.
Synta Pharmaceuticals started a midstage study to test the efficacy of its synthetic, small-molecule drug STA-9090 in as many as 55 patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors. The treatment also is being tested in a Phase II trial for nonsmall-cell lung cancer.