Novartis has inched closer to acquiring Cytokinetics and its promising heart drug, as Big Pharma companies continue to snap up fast-growing biotechs to replenish their pipelines. A purchase by the Swiss drug company of South San Francisco-based Cytokinetics, which has a market value of about $9 billion, could be finalized as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the situation. (The Wall Street Journal)

Boston Scientific bought Axonics, a medical device company that focuses on urinary and bowel disorders, in a deal potentially worth up to $3.7 billion. Axonic saw its stock rise 20% after the announcement. (STAT News)

Eli Lilly’s obesity drug Zepbound reached 25,000 new prescriptions per week by the end of December, Lilly CEO David Ricks said. Ricks noted that demand may lead to shortages of the drug in 2024, but that the company was “working hard to fulfill demand.” (Reuters)

President Joe Biden is not considering firing Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after he did not tell the White House about his emergency hospitalization, according to four senior administration officials. Beyond that, one official noted, the president would not accept a resignation if Austin were to offer one. (Politico)

Veracyte will pay up to $95 million to pick up C2i Genomics, seeking to bolster its tests for difficult-to-treat cancers and diseases. It says C2i Genomics will help better track tumor progression from early diagnosis to patient treatment and follow-up. (Endpoints News)

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