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Chiesi nears cardiovascular assets deal with Medicine Co: sources

By Carl O’Donnell and Greg Roumeliotis (Reuters) – Italian specialty pharmaceutical company Chiesi Farmaceutici SpA is close to an agreement to acquire some of Medicines Co’s cardiovascular assets for several hundred millions of dollars, according to people familiar with the matter. The transaction would allow Chiesi to expand its global footprint, while freeing up capital for Medicines Co to invest in its drug development pipeline. Based in Parsippany, New Jersey, Medicines Co has a market capitalization of $2.5 billion.

Merck cholesterol drug’s odds dim after Lilly failure

The odds that Merck & Co’s high-stakes cholesterol drug will succeed have dropped dramatically after Eli Lilly and Co said its similar medicine failed to reduce heart attacks and strokes, top U.S. heart doctors said. Lilly on Monday said it was halting a 12,000-patient study of its drug, evacetrapib, an oral medication. In earlier studies, the treatment cut “bad” LDL cholesterol by 30 to 35 percent and doubled the levels of “good” LDL cholesterol.