Business briefs: Pfizer, Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, Elsevier

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Pfizer is looking to set Zoetis free: the drug maker is looking to offload its stake in its animal health business, Zoetis, which became a standalone company in February Pfizer is offering shareholders the chance to swap PFE shares for ZTS ones in a stock-free transaction. The move could mean the company could cede its 80.2% ownership of the spin-off  if investors go all in.

Novartis has scored another Lucentis indication in Britain, reports PMLive which noted Wednesday that the cost-conscious Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence found the drug a cost-effective treatment for macular edema caused by a blocked retinal vein. NICE previously approved the drug for diabetes-related macular edema and age-related macular degeneration. The treatment has had to fight for US market share against cheaper Avastin and Regeneron's relative newcomer, Eylea. Roche/Genentech markets the drug in the US.

In addition to an FDA warning  letter noting quality control issues that date back to a November inspection of a Rhein, Germany plant, Boehringer Ingelheim is also dealing with a muted management overhaul that was announced late last week, or, as Pharmalot puts it, “quietly posted on its web site.” Board member Wolfram Carius is leaving after 26 years, to be replaced by Wolfgang Baiker. Carius oversaw BI's production. Pharmalot asked if the management shift could be tied to the FDA's “searing warning letter.” BI said it's conducting a global review of its operations network as a preventative measure.

Cleveland Clinic's Tommaso Falcone has added the letters EIC to his credentials: the OB/GYN has been named editor-in-chief of the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. He replaces Stephen Corson at the Elsevier publication.

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