Press review

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Neil Woodford planning return in China after fall of investment empire

Country : Canada, China, U.S.

Keywords :
LONDON, 20 Dec (APM) - The Daily Telegraph on Thursday said Neil Woodford, a prominent investor in life sciences, is seeking a new start in China after the collapse of his investment empire.
The paper said the opening of a Chinese-backed fund could give a "new lease of life" to Woodford, after he quit all his funds and shut down his company following a string of bets on risky firms which have left hundreds of thousands of customers facing massive losses.
Woodford is also understood to have met investors in the Middle East, said the paper.

Beyond Air pulls out of agreement with Circassia

Shares in Circassia were hit after one of its partners terminated a key licensing agreement, The Times reports on Friday.
The paper says Beyond Air cancelled an agreement to sell the Lung Fit PH respiratory treatment in the U.S. and China once it had been approved by regulators, citing a "material breach" of contract.
The Times quotes Circassia as saying: "[The company] refutes the allegations in the strongest terms and believes there are no grounds to terminate the agreement. The company will enforce its rights under the agreement and defend its position vigorously."

Groups criticise 'misleading' Facebook advertisements related to Truvada

The Guardian at the weekend reported on Facebook advertisements related to HIV prevention drug Truvada that offer the prospect of financial compensation from what appears to be a nascent product-liability lawsuit against the drug's manufacturer Gilead Sciences.
The advertisements are paid for by the Virginia law firm KBA Attorneys and cite unspecified bone and kidney conditions as side effects from Truvada, said the paper.
The advertisements have been criticised by groups such as LGBTQ+ advocacy organisation Glaad, which called on Facebook for their removal and to commit to "a review and potential update of current advertising policies to prevent false or misleading public health statements from reaching users".

Purdue owners took out $10.7 billion from company

Both the Guardian and the FT on Tuesday reported that the owners of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma took payments of $10.7 billion (£8 billion) from the company from 2008 through to 2017.
The information was released in a filing made by the company to the bankruptcy court following major legal battles over the company's involvement in the opioid abuse crisis in the U.S.
Members of the Sackler family received $4.1 billion in cash over that period. By contrast, distributions for the benefit of family members from 1995 to 2007 totalled $1.3 billion.
Payments soared after Purdue agreed in 2008 to pay a federal fine of $635 million for misleading the public about OxyContin's addiction risks.
The Guardian quoted Massachusetts attorney general, Maura Healey, who said: "Today's report confirms what we revealed in our lawsuit: The Sacklers pocketed billions of dollars from Purdue while thousands of people died from their addictive drugs. This is the very definition of ill-gotten gains."

Study shows abandoned weight-loss drug could help children with epilepsy

The Daily Mail on Wednesday reported on studies that suggest a weight-loss drug that was abandoned due to heart risks may cut the number of seizures in children with severe epilepsy.
The paper covered an international study involving London's Great Ormond Street Hospital and the U.S. pharmaceutical company Zogenix that showed fenfluramine reduced the number of fits by up to 75% among children and teenagers with Dravet syndrome, a study found.
The article quoted Dr Helen Cross, a neurologist at Great Ormond Street. She said: "In our clinical trial we saw impressive reductions in seizures in the patients who received fenfluramine compared with those on the placebo. And although further study will need to assess the long-term safety, I am optimistic about what we have seen so far."

U.S. lays out plans to let states import cheaper drugs from Canada

The U.S. government's plans to allow U.S. states to import drugs from Canada was widely covered on Wednesday and Thursday.
The papers also said a second draft plan would let pharmaceutical companies seek approval to import their own drugs, from any country.
The Guardian said it is unclear that either idea will have an impact on patients' costs ahead of the 2020 election, but the Trump administration has advanced beyond its predecessors in trying to set up a supervised system for importing drugs.
The Daily Mail said Americans spend an average of $1,200 on prescription drugs annually - more than in any other country in the world - and the U.S. president has made driving down costs a top priority for next year's election.
And the FT quoted health and human services secretary Alex Azar, who referenced ongoing impeachment proceedings against Trump, saying the president refused to be distracted by "silly partisanship" in Washington.
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