Dealmaking machine Sanofi to buy Avila for $800M (Morning Read)

Highlights of the important and interesting in the world of healthcare:

Sanofi to buy Avila Therapeutics for $800M. The dealmaking machine that is Sanofi-Aventis is at it again, signing an oncology drug pact with Avila Therapeutics in Waltham, Massachusetts, worth $40 million up front and up to $154 million in milestone payments per program. Overall, the deal is valued at $800 million, according to FierceBiotech.

Budget could starve health reform. Here’s the problem with funding 2011’s government using 2010’s budget: Funding the government at 2010 levels means starving some signature accomplishments — like healthcare reform — of implementation funds, according to the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein.

More biotech M&A for Gilead. Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD), the Foster City, California-based biotech company, has agreed to acquire Arresto Biosciences, the Palo Alto, California, company whose lead drug candidate is an antibody for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, for $225 million plus future milestone payments based on product sale levels, according to Xconomy San Francisco.


Nurses plan HCA strike in California. Hundreds of nurses plan to strike five hospitals in Southern California owned by for-profit hospital giant HCA Inc. over the Christmas holiday to protest stalled contract talks, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Neuronetrix goes to trials with Alzheimer’s detector. Neuronetrix in Louisville, Kentucky, has begun a multi-center clinical trial of its COGNISION system, a headset that measures electrical field potentials of the brain while a sound pattern is played to the subject, for early detection of Alzheimer’s, according to the medGadget blog.

Silence… for $20.7M. Former Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler had to sign a vow of silence that prevents him from saying certain “truthful statements” about the company in order to receive his $20.7 million severance package, according to an SEC disclosure, BNET reports.

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