Pfizer, Merck in Cancer Drug Partnership
Pfizer has signed a major cancer drug deal with German firm Merck. The news dampens speculation that Pfizer is still interested in a renewed bid for British drug maker AstraZeneca.
The Merck deal gives Pfizer access to an immunotherapy drug; drugs of this type are a leading edge in cancer research and also a focus for AstraZeneca. Merck and Pfizer will share rights to develop the medicine, which will initially be targeted toward lung and ovarian cancer.
Colt Faces Possible Default
Gun maker Colt may have to decide soon whether to default on payments on $10.9 million in debt. The West Hartford-based company revealed last week that lowered demand for its handguns and sporting rifles have meant a financial crunch. Payment on the loan was due on Monday, but Colt has a grace period for another month. In its most recent quarterly earnings report, the company disclosed that sales were down between 25 and 35 percent on the same time last year.
Feds Set Up Fund for Victims of Insider Trading
Investors in two drug companies who were victims of insider trading by Stamford-based hedge fund SAC Capital may benefit from a new reimbursement fund. The Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered a district judge in Manhattan to set up a fund to compensate shareholders who traded in stocks of Elan or Wyeth during a specific period in July of 2008.
An SAC fund manager, Matthew Martoma, was convicted in one of the biggest ever insider trading cases, after he used illicit tips to time the sale of $700 million of stock in the two drug companies. The company later paid more than $600 million to settle a case against it — and it’s that cash that could be used as compensation.
Travelers CEO Announces Health Setback
The CEO of Travelers has announced that he’s been diagnosed with a neuromuscular condition. Jay Fishman, who has led the insurer for the past decade, didn’t specify what the disease was. In a note to investors, he said he’d been suffering from back pain, and that he may now need a cane or other assistance to move around. Fishman, 62, said he intends to continue at the helm of the company, which bases its property casualty lines in Hartford.