Shareholders of Chiron Corporation voted to approve Novartis’ acquisition of Chiron, paving the way for the creation of a new division at Novartis focusing on vaccines and diagnostics. At a special shareholder meeting held in Emeryville, CA, more than 85% of the total 198 million votable shares were cast in favor of the proposed transaction, while 12% were not voted, according to a preliminary count. Under the terms of the transaction, which is expected to close on April 20, Novartis will acquire all outstanding shares of Chiron that Novartis does not already own, for $48 a share. The deal represents a total value of $5.4 billion.
Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical said it has concluded its co-promotion contract for its Actos (pioglitazone) Type-2 diabetes drug with Eli Lilly. Takeda’s US subsidiary will now conduct all marketing and sales activities for Actos in the US as planned at the outset of its 1998 co-promotion agreement with Eli Lilly. Lilly will continue to sell Actos in Canada, Mexico and some countries in Europe and Asia.