Press review


Hikma board reshuffle clashes with governance rules

Country : U.S., UK

Keywords :
LONDON, Feb 23 (APM) - Hikma Pharmaceuticals has made boardroom changes that clash with its corporate governance rules as it looks to revive its struggling generics business, The Times reported on Tuesday.
Hikma has named Sigurdur Olafsson, a former executive at Teva Pharmaceuticals, as the successor to Said Darwazah, who was both chairman and chief executive of Hikma. (APMHE 56960)
Dawazah, who is the son of the founder and an investor in a vehicle owning the biggest stake in Hikma, will revert to the role of executive chairman, despite the corporate governance code stating that a “chief executive should not go on to be chairman of the same company”.
The rules state that companies should either comply with the rules or explain to shareholders why they have not.
A spokesman for Hikma told the FT: “Said has held the combined chairman and chief executive role for many years and, as such, has had a long and regular dialogue with shareholders about board composition and succession.”
Despite the unusual corporate governance arrangement, shareholders appeared to welcome the changes, and shares in Hikma rose by 9% after the news was announced.

AstraZeneca boosted with Imfinzi approval

The FT on Monday said AstraZeneca's Imfinzi has been approved for non-small cell lung cancer patients who make no progress after chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
It quoted one of the doctors on the Phase III trial as saying: "It is important that there is a new option that gives patients more time without the disease progressing."

Reckitt Benckiser shares down on poor projections

Reckitt Benckiser saw shares fall more than 7% on Monday after warning that pricing pressures would continue to hit margins, the FT said on Tuesday.
The paper said that the consumer group had disclosed lower than expected profit margins in 2017 and that forecasts would be reduced by the integration of Mead Johnson, which it acquired for $17 billion last year.
Chief executive Rakesh Kapoor insisted the company has a bright outlook, however, pointing to plans to split it into two divisions: one focused on health and the other on home and hygiene.

BTG transforms under Makin

BTG chief executive Louise Makin discussed the transformation of the company in an interview published in the Sunday Times.
The UK group has gone from selling snakebite antivenom and treatments for kidney failure to becoming a leader in interventional medicine, said the paper, adding that the company employs 1,600 staff in 17 countries and is a favourite of long-term investors including Neil Woodford and Invesco.
The paper also highlighted the company’s struggles, including the poor launch performance of Varithena for varicose veins, which made just 1 million pounds in its first year after specialist vein clinics could not get health insurers to reimburse the treatment.
Makin has now slashed expectations and plans to market it only in the U.S.
She said: “Do I wish it had happened another way? Absolutely. I don’t think things like reimbursement are well understood. I don’t think we understood it as well as we should.”

Aimmune’s peanut allergy trial success

Aimmunne is on course to win approval for the world’s first peanut allergy drug after reporting impressive Phase III trial results, said the FT on Tuesday.
The paper said that about two-thirds of children who received AR101 for one year were able to tolerate at least 600 mg of peanut protein, compared with just 4% of patients on a placebo (APMHE 56973).



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