Japan’s Suntory Beverage & Food is in advanced talks to buy GlaxoSmithKline’s Lucozade and Ribena drinks for more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion), in a deal that would pre-empt an auction of the brands. A deal could be announced in the next few days. Britain’s biggest drugmaker announced plans in April to sell Lucozade and Ribena, which are big sellers in Britain but lack global reach, as the company seeks to focus its consumer health business. The sale had been expected to attract interest from drinks companies and private equity houses, although Suntory was early on seen as a likely front-runner given its desire to build up its European drinks business after buying Orangina in 2009.
GSK cancer vaccine misses target in trial
An experimental cancer vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline failed to meet the first of two joint targets in a closely watched late-stage clinical trial, dealing a blow to the high-risk, high-reward project. Britain’s biggest drugmaker said on Thursday that it would continue with the Phase III trial of its MAGE-A3 therapeutic vaccine until the second of the targets, known as co-primary endpoints, is assessed. The vaccine is one of two particularly high-risk developmental GSK products believed by analysts to have the potential to become multibillion-dollar sellers. The other is a heart drug called Darapladib, designed to fight clogged arteries in a different way to statins. Unlike traditional preventative vaccines, MAGE-A3 is meant to treat people with established disease, where it is supposed to help their immune systems to fight back.
Glitch hits Nasdaq system at centre of trading outage
Nasdaq OMX Group said the system at the centre of the Nasdaq exchange’s three-hour trading halt on August 22 had a six-minute outage on Wednesday for a small number of stock symbols, but the issue had been resolved and trading was not affected. The Securities Information Processor (SIP), which receives all traffic on quotes and orders for Nasdaq stocks, was down between 11:35 a.m. and 11:41 a.m. Eastern time for symbols from PC through SPZ, the exchange operator said in a note to traders. While Nasdaq said trading