Company news: Novartis and Boehringer Ingelheim

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Novartis is setting itself up to dominate the generic dermatology market. The company said Thursday that generics subsidiary Sandoz is purchasing Fougera Pharmaceuticals for $1.5 billion in cash. The company estimated the merged businesses will have about $620 million in generic dermatology sales, the majority of which will be in the US.

Boehringer Ingelheim launched what it called the largest observational study of non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) patients. The goal is to enroll 56,000 patients from 50 countries and fill all 56,000 slots by the next decade. NVAF is a form of atrial fibrillation, which is known as an irregular heartbeat but which is also linked to stroke-causing blood clots. A registry, known as GLORIA-AF, will track the long-term impact of anti-clotting treatments, including warfarin, acetylsalicylic acid, BI's anticoagulant Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) and J&J/Bayer's blood thinner Xarelto (rivaroxaban).

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