1. Takeda has acquired cell therapy company TiGenix for $630 million and is expanding its experimental Alzheimer’s portfolio through a collaboration with Denali Therapeutics. The Denali deal is worth up to more than $1 billion. (Endpoints News)
2. Biotech and pharma investments reached about $10.5 billion in 2017, while healthcare venture firms raised $9.1 billion in funds. Both figures represent new records, a Silicon Valley Bank report found. Investments primarily went to oncology drugmakers and companies developing platform technology. (Endpoints News)
3. The number of U.S. adults prescribed nerve-pain drugs, such as Pfizer’s Neurontin and Lyrica, grew from 1.2% in 2002 to nearly 4% in 2015. The surge coincides with rising opioid overdoses and deaths, a new study found. (Reuters)
4. Following the August merger of contract research organization INC Research and inVentiv Health, the combined companies have rebranded as Syneos Health.
5. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will cover Abbott Laboratories’ FreeStyle Libre Flash glucose monitoring device, which helps diabetes patients track blood sugar levels without finger-pricking. The FDA approved the device in September. (CNBC)