Bristol-Myers Squibb has reached a $1.85 billion deal with Nektar Therapeutics for global development and commercialization rights for a promising cancer drug. The treatment, NKTR-214, will be tested with two other Nektar drugs on nine types of tumors. (Reuters)

Interpublic Group’s net income was down 4.8% in 2017 to $579 million, while revenue was up 1.8% organically for the year to $7.9 billion. The holding company also reported net income of $316.6 million in the fourth quarter, with revenue increasing 3.3% organically to $2.3 billion. Healthcare made up 22% of IPG’s revenue last year, a slight increase from 2016. (PRWeek)

Merck is halting its final-stage test of an Alzheimer’s treatment that was considered an alternative to other unsuccessful methods. The company was testing the drug, verubecestat, in patients with only some symptoms of the disease. Merck discontinued a trial with more advanced patients a year ago. (Bloomberg)

Two states are looking into Aetna’s methods for reimbursing patients for medical care, amidst the insurer’s planned merger with CVS. California and Colorado are investigating the insurer’s payment procedures after a former Aetna medical director in Southern California acknowledged not looking at patients’ medical records before making care decisions. (Modern Healthcare)

Oregon’s House of Representatives has voted to make the right to healthcare part of the state’s constitution. If the state’s Senate also votes in favor, it would add the question to state ballots this November. Oregon would be the first U.S. state to make healthcare a constitutionally guaranteed right. (Associated Press)