GREEN LIGHT FOR NOVARTIS

Novartis said on Friday it received approval from the European Commission for Leqvio, also known as inclisiran, a drug to lower cholesterol that the Swiss drugmaker bought last year in a deal worth nearly $10 billion and expects to be a top seller. Leqvio was approved for the treatment of adults with hypercholesterolemia or mixed dyslipidemia, making it the first and only approved small-interfering RNA (siRNA) low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering treatment in Europe, Novartis said in a statement. SOURCE: Reuters

MORGAN STANLEY EXPECTS BIG BANK HIT

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned there was a “strong possibility” of a no-deal Brexit, analysts at Morgan Stanley considered the near-term implications of such an outcome, suggesting up to 10% downside for the domestically-focused FTSE 250 and a decline of as much as 20% for UK domestic bank stocks. SOURCE: sharecast.com

TRUSTING THE RUSSIANS ON DRUGS

British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said Friday it would soon start work with Russia’s Gamaleya Institute to investigate whether their two coronavirus vaccine candidates could be successfully combined. It comes after the developers of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine approached AstraZeneca via Twitter late last month to ask whether they should try combining the two common cold virus-based vaccines to boost efficacy. SOURCE: CNBC.com

A TOWERING ACHIEVEMENT

Phoenix Tower International is close to clinching a deal to buy the telecoms mast unit of Italy’s EI Towers for some 500 million euros ($606 million) by the end of the year, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday. The U.S.-based wireless infrastructure group entered into exclusive talks for the unit last summer and has completed a due diligence process. SOURCE: Reuters

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian passes by Novartis’ Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., January 2, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder