Pharmaceutical industry

AstraZeneca share price up after positive trial

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AstraZeneca is among the FTSE 100's biggest risers, its share price is up 1.6% to £73.95 after announcing that one of its drugs is also good at cutting the risk of a fatal heart attack.

Farxiga met the main goal of a trial which tested it in addition to the standard treatment in patients whose heart cannot pump enough blood.

The test included those with or without type-2 diabetes, the company said.

Irish pharma firm Almac makes record turnover

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Northern Irish pharmaceutical company Almac made a pre-tax profit of £27m on a record turnover of £548m in 2018.

The company, which has its headquarters in Craigavon, County Armagh, said it had been "another strong year."

Profits are down from the £33m achieved in 2017, reflecting a higher level of investment spending.

Staff numbers rose by 8% during 2018 to just under 4,800.

Almac is considered to be one of Northern Ireland's most successful firms and is one of the region's major exporters.

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Takeda to sell eye drug to Novartis for $3.4bn

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Takeda Pharmaceutical will sell its dry eye drug to Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG for $3.4bn (£2.6bn), in its first major deal since its acquisition of Britain's Shire.

Japan's biggest drugmaker is pushing to divest billions of dollars worth of assets to cut debt taken on for the huge Shire acquisition sealed in January.

The £46bn takeover, the largest by a Japanese company, propelled Takeda into the world's top 10 list of biggest pharmaceutical companies.

GSK - give it time

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GlaxoSmithKline's first quarter results were published earlier.

Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown says the company should be given the benefit of the doubt - at least for now.

“Product sales coming in ahead of market expectations is certainly welcome news for GSK, especially given the headwind presented by generic competition to the group’s blockbuster asthma treatments in the US. It’s testament to the strong performance of Glaxo’s vaccines and new respiratory treatments – both of which have delivered good growth in the key US market.

"However, GSK has again struggled to turn profits into cash, an area where it’s a serial offender,", he said, with net debt increasing significantly year-on-year.

"Still investors should probably give GSK the benefit of the doubt, at least for now. The labs are busy, and recent product launches have performed well," he said.

The shares up 0.4% at 1,579.5p.