By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Genmab was Europe's second biggest biotech company, until its partner Johnson & Johnson bought Switzerland's Actelion for $30 billion this year and propelled the Danish antibody specialist to the top spot. Now some investors wonder if the same fate might await Genmab, worth $12 billion, given the soaraway success of its blood cancer drug Darzalex. J&J sells the drug and pays Genmab a royalty of 12 to 20 percent. With 2017 Darzalex sales already over $1 billion and analysts on average expecting them to reach more than $8 billion annually, those royalties are adding up to serious money. Bernstein analyst Wimal Kapadia is among those who think J&J might just decide to buy Genmab and avoid royalties altogether, while bringing onboard a smart team of scientists. For now, however, both J&J and Genmab are lauding the success of their existing relationship. "It's one of the most successful collaborations we have. We love the partnership," J&J's Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels told Reuters. He declined to comment on the U.S. healthcare giant's possible interest in buying Genmab in future but said the Danish group had the capital needed to go forward on its own, adding: "They don't need us to be successful." Indeed, Genmab's strategy is to plough the growing royalty stream from Darzalex into its next wave of medicines. Darzalex is now established as a key treatment in multiple myeloma, where it is moving into earlier stages of the disease. It is also showing promise in other areas, with clinical trial success in fighting amyloidosis, a rare disease caused by the build-up of an abnormal protein, triggering a $20 million milestone payment from J&J to Genmab on Wednesday. [nASB0BVU4] Genmab Chief Executive Jan van de Winkel says the decision on any eventual sale of the company will be up to shareholders, but he is confident the fast-growing biotech business has a bright future as an independent operation. "Our focus is to build an independent antibody innovation powerhouse and we think we can create more value for our stakeholders by staying independent than being a part of a larger entity," he said in an interview in London. Van de Winkel also sees important differences between Genmab and Actelion, with the decision by J&J to snap up the Swiss group driven in large part by a need to plug a revenue hole left by declining sales of J&J's ageing biotech drug Remicade. "They needed to replace that income and that is exactly what the Actelion products will do. That is a completely different reason, I think, from potentially looking at a company like ours," he said. "It is up to J&J ... but I hope that we can continue like this for many, many more years." (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Adrian Croft)
- Yahoo News
Early data on the rollout of the vaccines for COVID-19 shows that minority populations in the United States already disproportionately affected by the pandemic are not being immunized at the same rate as white Americans.
- The Week
Biden did not, in fact, remove Trump's 'Diet Coke button' from the Resolute Desk, White House clarifies
The new Biden administration has yet not disclosed the secrets of Area 51 or explained what the Air Force really knows about UFOs, but it did clarify, at least, the mystery of the vanished "Diet Coke button" former President Donald Trump would use to summon refreshments in the Oval Office. The usher button, as it is formally known, is not gone, even if it is no longer used to summon Diet Cokes, a White House official tells Politico.The White House official "unfortunately wouldn't say what Biden will use the button for," Politico's Daniel Lippman writes, suggesting Biden might summon Orange Gatorade and not the obvious answer, ice cream — or, let's get real, coffee. What's more, there are evidently two usher buttons in the Oval Office, one at the Resolute Desk and the other next to the chair by the fireplace, a former White House official told Politico, adding that Trump didn't actually use the Diet Coke button all that much because "he would usually just verbally ask the valets, who were around all day, for what he needed."In any case, it is not the placement of the button that matters, of course, but how you use it. And Biden will presumably know better than to order ice cream treats during a top-secret national security briefing.More stories from theweek.com Josh Hawley knows exactly what he's doing Trump must be prosecuted Surging global ice melt suggests sea level rise predictions are far too conservative
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The fate of top Democratic priorities like $1,400 checks and immigration overhaul could hang in the balance.
- Associated Press
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel will be closing its international airport to nearly all flights, while Israeli police clashed with ultra-Orthodox protesters in several major cities and the government raced to bring a raging coronavirus outbreak under control. The entry of highly contagious variants of the virus, coupled with poor enforcement of safety rules in ultra-Orthodox communities, has contributed to one of the world's highest rates of infections. It also has threatened to undercut Israel's highly successful campaign to vaccinate its population against the virus.
AstraZeneca is not doing enough to try to resolve a dispute over delayed COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to the European Union, the bloc's top health official said on Monday, as news emerged the drugmaker is also facing supply problems elsewhere. In a sign of the EU's frustration - after Pfizer also announced a temporary slowdown in vaccine supplies earlier in January - EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides proposed forcing drugmakers to register in advance their COVID-19 vaccine exports, so the bloc can keep track of what they are doing. AstraZeneca, which developed its shot with Oxford University, told the EU on Friday it could not meet agreed supply targets up to the end of March.
A Chinese-born Canadian known as Asia’s “El Chapo” has been arrested in Amsterdam on Friday. Tse Chi Lop, 57, reportedly made up to $17.7 billion a year as the alleged leader of Asia’s biggest crime syndicate in history, referred to by its members as “The Company” and by law enforcers as "Sam Gor" Tse allegedly conducted Sam Gor’s operations in Hong Kong, Macau and Southeast Asia. It turns out Tse was responsible for 70% of the drugs that reach Australia.
- The Independent
Giuliani slams ‘hate-filled left-wing’ as he responds to $1.3bn defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems
Donald Trump’s personal lawyer claims legal action is intended to ‘frighten people of faint heart’
President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services. Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America.What they're saying: "President Biden is ensuring that when the federal government spends taxpayer dollars they are spent on American made goods by American workers and with American-made component parts," the White House said in a fact sheet.The big picture: Biden’s action kick offs another week in which the president will seek to undo many Trump policies with executive actions, while signaling the direction that he wants to take the country. * Biden will also reaffirm his support for the Jones Act, which requires maritime shipments between American ports to be carried on U.S. vessels. * Last week, Biden signed an order to attempt to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors and workers to $15 an hour.The bottom line: Former President Trump also attempted to force the federal government to rely on U.S. manufacturers for procurement with "buy American" provisions. * But supply chains — with some parts and components made outside of the U.S. — require long and complicated efforts to boost domestic manufacturing. Support safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Telegraph
Israel will ban passenger flights in and out of the country from Monday for a week as it seeks to stop the spread of new coronavirus variants. "Other than rare exceptions, we are closing the sky hermetically to prevent the entry of the virus variants and also to ensure that we progress quickly with our vaccination campaign," said Benjamin Netanuahu, the Israeli prime minister. It came as a study in Israel reported a 60 per cent drop in over-60s being hospitalised with coronavirus three weeks after being vaccinated, in the latest sign that the jabs are effective. According to Maccabi, an Israeli healthcare provider, there was a significant decrease in hospitalisations from day 23 onwards, which was two days after patients received their second jab. Also on Sunday, Israel expanded its rapid vaccination drive to include 16-18 year-olds in an effort to get them back in schools to take their winter examinations. The winter matriculation certificate is a significant part of university and military admissions. At least one dose has been administered to around a quarter of Israel’s 9 million-strong population. The vaccine is generally available to over 40s or, with parental permission, those aged between 16 and 18. Israel struck a deal with Pfizer at the beginning of January that allowed them to expedite delivery of the vaccine, in return for sharing extensive data on their vaccination campaign with the rest of the world. Yuli Edelstein, the Israeli health minister, told The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday that the data from their vaccination programme suggests a first dose offered around 30 per cent protection from coronavirus.
All Guard members who test positive are quarantined and won't return to their home states until they're fully recovered.
- Associated Press
Indianapolis police arrested a 17-year-old boy Monday in the killings of five people, including a pregnant woman, who were shot to death inside a home in what the city's mayor called a “devastating act of violence.” The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that the name of the suspect in Sunday's killings was “not being released at this time since the suspect is a juvenile." As officers were investigating, police received information about 4:40 a.m. that led them to a nearby home, where they found multiple adults dead inside from apparent gunshot wounds, Sgt. Shane Foley said Sunday.
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Israeli authorities on Monday extradited a former teacher accused of sexually abusing her former students in Australia, capping a six-year legal battle that had strained relations between the two governments and antagonized Australia's Jewish community.
The total number of confirmed cases in the mainland rose to 124 on Jan. 24 from 80 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said in a statement, amid the worst wave of new infections China has seen since March 2020. Of the 117 new local infectons, Jilin accounted for 67 cases - all but three of whom were previously asymptomatic patients who were reclassified as confirmed cases after developing symptoms.
- The Telegraph
The acrimonious split within Republican ranks widened over the weekend as Donald Trump made his foray back into politics, backing the re-election of a hard-line supporter as chair of the party in Arizona. His wholehearted support for Kelli Ward was seen by allies as the former president firing a warning shot across the bows of any Republican senators considering backing his impeachment. Underlining Mr Trump’s grip on the Republican grassroots, the Arizona party also voted to censure John McCain’s widow, Cindy, former senator Jeff Flake and governor Doug Ducey, who refused to back the former president’s claims of election fraud. Mr Trump’s intervention came amid reports that he is considering setting up a “Patriot Party” which would spearhead primary challenges to his opponents in the 2022 mid-term elections. The former president has already amassed a massive war chest with his Save America political action committee declaring last month that it had raked in $207.5 million in donations.
- NBC News
The eight other current and former police officers were indicted in what authorities described as a long-term scheme to steal overtime money.
- Associated Press
A former pathologist at an Arkansas veterans hospital has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient he misdiagnosed. Robert Morris Levy, 54, of Fayetteville was sentenced Friday in federal court. Prosecutors said Levy diagnosed a patient with lymphoma when the patient actually had a small-cell carcinoma.
- Associated Press
The patter of paws is being heard in the White House again following the arrival of President Joe Biden's dogs Champ and Major. Major burst onto the national scene late last year after Biden, then president-elect, broke his right foot while playing with the dog at their home in Wilmington, Delaware. The Bidens adopted Major in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association.
Venezuela's Juan Guaido is a "privileged interlocutor" but no longer considered interim president, European Union states said in a statement on Monday, sticking by their decision to downgrade his status. The EU's 27 states had said on Jan. 6 they could no longer legally recognise Guaido as after he lost his position as head of parliament following legislative elections in Venezuela in December, despite the EU not recognising that vote. Following the disputed re-election of President Nicolas Maduro in 2018, Guaido, as head of parliament, became interim president.
- The Telegraph
Donald Trump opened an office in Florida on Monday that will handle his duties as a former US president and seek to further his administration's agenda. "The Office will be responsible for managing President Trump's correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organising, and public activism," a statement said. The announcement came on the same day the House of Representatives delivered to the Senate an impeachment article charging MR Trump with inciting insurrection in a speech to supporters before the deadly attack on the Capitol on Ja. 6. The Senate trial is expected to start on Feb 9. In farewell remarks on his last day as president last Wednesday, Mr Trump told supporters: "We will be back in some form." Mr Trump has made no public appearances since flying that day to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Before leaving office, Mr Trump talked with associates about forming a political party called the "Patriot Party," the Wall Street Journal reported. Before leaving office, he pursued unsuccessful legal challenges to overturn his Nov. 3 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, falsely claiming there had been widespread electoral fraud.
- Associated Press
Four Zimbabwean Cabinet ministers have died of COVID-19, three within the past two weeks, highlighting a resurgence of the disease that is sweeping through this southern African country. President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the coronavirus is reaping a “grim harvest” in the country. Then came the death of the transport minister.