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Shire on a roll as U.S. approves keenly awaited eye drug

Shire has won U.S. approval for its most important new medicine, a treatment for dry eyes, in a fresh boost for the company which completed its $32 billion acquisition of U.S. rare diseases specialist Baxalta last month. The Dublin-based drugmaker has been a big stock market winner following Britain's decision to leave the European Union, benefiting from the strength of the dollar against sterling and investor demand for defensive sectors like pharmaceuticals. Shire shares — already up a fifth since the UK referendum on June 23 — gained another 4 percent on Tuesday on news the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved lifitegrast eye drops for treating signs and symptoms of dry eye disease.

Novartis hit by China, emerging market slowdown: CEO on CNBC

Drugmaker Novartis has been hit by a slowdown in emerging markets, particularly in China, where previously double-digit growth has decelerated to mid-single digits, Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said in an interview with CNBC on Friday. Jimenez' comments echoed concerns expressed on Thursday by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who said the outlook in emerging markets including China have led to volatility. Despite the increasing risks, Jimenez said the Swiss company was not pulling back from emerging markets, rather relying on the strength of generics in China to drive business growth.