As part of an effort to quickly increase supply, Merck has formally agreed to help manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. President Biden praised the company and industry for joining forces for the common good. (The Washington Post)

Novartis announced it will help CureVac produce its COVID-19 vaccine. Novartis will produce up to 50 million doses of the vaccine this year. (The Wall Street Journal)

Amgen is acquiring biotech company Five Prime for nearly $2 billion. The move bolsters Amgen’s oncology pipeline with compounds including bemarituzumab, a first-in-class antibody targeting tumors. (Endpoints News)

In a new study, Eli Lilly’s experimental diabetes drug, tirzepatide, lowered blood sugar and body weight more than Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic. The study results “really exceeded our expectations,” a Lilly spokesperson said. (STAT)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defended his decision to eliminate the state’s mask mandate, claiming it wouldn’t amount to “that big of a change.” President Biden countered by characterizing the rollback as “neanderthal thinking.” (Politico)