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News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) announced today that it has appointed Robert J. Bertolini, Matthew W. Emmens and Theodore R. Samuels to its Board of Directors, effective immediately. In connection with these appointments, the Board will temporarily expand to 14 directors until the 2017 Annual Meeting, to be held on May 2, 2017. Only 11 directors will stand for election at the meeting. Bristol-Myers Squibb also announced that it has entered into an accelerated share repurchase (“ASR”) program to repurchase, in aggregate, $2 billion of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s common stock. Giovanni Caforio, M.D., chief executive officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb, said, “Bristol-Myers Squibb continues to take decisive action to best position the company for growth driven by our leading portfolio of Immuno-Oncology medicines, including Opdivo, and by an exciting diversified portfolio of medicines such as Eliquis and Orencia. We are committed to advancing the promising opportunities represented by our portfolio and pipeline in oncology as well as continuing our efforts to diversify through promising pipeline agents in heart failure, immunoscience and fibrosis. Our new directors add important experience and skills managing large businesses and operations, broaden our overall expertise in the pharmaceutical sector and more broadly in capital markets, and complement extremely well the existing skills on our Board. We look forward to working with them to advance our business strategy. “In addition, the decision to implement an accelerated share repurchase program demonstrates our focus on enhancing shareholder returns as we continue to capitalize on our long-term opportunities,” Caforio continued. “I am pleased to welcome Bob, Matt and Ted to the Board, and know that their unique skill sets and experience will be invaluable to the company going forward,” said Lamberto Andreotti, chairman of the Board. “As I announced in December, I will be retiring as chairman, effective May 2, 2017. I am happy to be leaving with such a strong Board in place and am confident Bristol-Myers Squibb has a bright future.” Bristol-Myers Squibb noted that, since JANA Partners LLC (“JANA”) became a Bristol-Myers Squibb shareholder in the fourth quarter of 2016, members of the Board and management have engaged in discussions with representatives of JANA to better understand their views. Today’s Board appointments follow discussions between the two parties regarding the Board. “These three new independent directors will add valuable industry knowledge and fresh perspectives to the Board, and shareholders stand to reap a substantial benefit from the company's sizable investment in its undervalued shares,” said Barry Rosenstein, founder and managing partner of JANA. “These are two very positive developments for all Bristol-Myers Squibb shareholders.” Togo D. West, Jr., the board’s lead independent director, said, “Bristol Myers-Squibb benefits from a strong Board that comprises leaders who have diverse expertise relevant to the company’s strategy and mission. We welcome Bob, Matt and Ted to the Board and look forward to their contributions.” “Bristol-Myers Squibb is widely regarded as an innovator and a leader with a strong portfolio of assets that will help drive value for shareholders,” said Samuels. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board to continue advancing the company’s important mission.” “I am honored to join the Bristol-Myers Squibb Board and to work alongside some of the great minds in science and medicine,” said Emmens. “With a diverse portfolio and a strong pipeline, I am confident that Bristol-Myers Squibb will continue to find solutions for patients with high unmet medical needs.” “I am pleased to be joining the Board during a period of innovation and scientific discovery,” said Bertolini. “I look forward to joining my fellow directors and the management team in helping Bristol-Myers Squibb with the compelling opportunities ahead.” Accelerated Share Repurchase Bristol-Myers Squibb has entered into an ASR program with each of Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Goldman, Sachs & Co. to repurchase, in aggregate, $2 billion of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s common stock. The company expects to fund the repurchase with a combination of debt and cash. Approximately 80 percent of the shares to be repurchased under the transaction will be received by Bristol-Myers Squibb on February 28, 2017. The total number of shares ultimately repurchased under the program will be determined upon final settlement and will be based on a discount to the volume-weighted average price of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s common stock during the ASR period. The program is part of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s existing share repurchase authorization. Bristol-Myers Squibb anticipates that all repurchases under the ASR will be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2017. Bristol-Myers Squibb notes that it is commencing a 10b5-1 plan to facilitate continuous stock repurchase activity by the company. Robert J. Bertolini Bob Bertolini, who currently serves on the boards of Charles River Laboratories and Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd., is the former president and CFO of Bausch & Lomb. Previously, Bertolini served as executive vice president and CFO at Schering-Plough Corporation and as a Partner and Pharmaceutical Industry Practice Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC. He brings extensive financial and accounting expertise and significant strategic and operational leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry to the Board of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Matthew W. Emmens Matt Emmens is the former chairman, president and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Vertex, Emmens served as chairman and CEO of Shire Pharmaceuticals and as president and CEO of Astra Merck, the joint venture between Merck and Astra AB. He brings to the Board of Bristol-Myers Squibb more than 40 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, with significant management, business development and operations expertise. Theodore R. Samuels Ted Samuels, who currently serves on the boards of Perrigo Company plc and Stamps.com, has more than 35 years of financial industry experience. As the former president of Capital Guardian Trust Company and a former global equity portfolio manager at Capital Group, Samuels has extensive business and operational experience, particularly with respect to economics, capital markets and investment decision making. Morgan Stanley is serving as financial advisor to Bristol-Myers Squibb and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel. Covington & Burling LLP is serving as legal counsel to Bristol-Myers Squibb in connection with the ASR. About Bristol-Myers Squibb Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. These materials contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding, among other things, statements relating to goals, plans and projections regarding the company’s financial position, results of operations, market position, product development and business strategy. These statements may be identified by the fact that they use words such as "anticipate," "estimates," "should," "expect," "guidance," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe" and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. These factors include, among other things, effects of the continuing implementation of governmental laws and regulations related to Medicare, Medicaid, Medicaid managed care organizations and entities under the Public Health Service 340B program, pharmaceutical rebates and reimbursement, market factors, competitive product development and approvals, pricing controls and pressures (including changes in rules and practices of managed care groups and institutional and governmental purchasers), economic conditions such as interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations, judicial decisions, claims and concerns that may arise regarding the safety and efficacy of in-line products and product candidates, changes to wholesaler inventory levels, variability in data provided by third parties, changes in, and interpretation of, governmental regulations and legislation affecting domestic or foreign operations, including tax obligations, changes to business or tax planning strategies, difficulties and delays in product development, manufacturing or sales including any potential future recalls, patent positions, the ultimate outcome of any litigation matter, and our level of indebtedness. These factors also include the company’s ability to execute successfully its strategic plans, including its business development strategy, the expiration of patents or data protection on certain products, including assumptions about the company’s ability to retain patent exclusivity of certain products, and the impact and result of governmental investigations. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that future clinical studies will support the data described in this release, that the compounds will receive necessary regulatory approvals, or that they will prove to be commercially successful; nor are there guarantees that regulatory approvals will be sought, or sought within currently expected timeframes, or that contractual milestones will be achieved. For further details and a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, see the company's periodic reports, including the annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, filed with or furnished to the SEC. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Industry veteran adds biotech innovation depth to Finn Partners' global reach and EU expertise in pharma and patient advocacy NEW YORK and PARIS, Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Finn Partners announced today the appointment of Mina Volovitch as Head of its Paris office and senior partner in the agency's Global Health Practice. Volovitch will be based in Paris and report to Chantal Bowman-Boyles, managing partner, leading Finn Partners Europe and Gil Bashe, managing partner, Global Health. Volovitch's more than 20 years' experience in health communications includes work with the globe's leading names in medicine and public health including bioMérieux, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Lilly, Novartis, Roche, Sanofi Pasteur, Transgene, the French Cancer Society, the National League Against Cancer (largest French patient group), the ANRS (National Agency for Research on Aids), the Mérieux Foundation and IAVI. "Our European offices are adding more and more health work encompassing biotechnology, patient advocacy and health technology assignments.  Mina's dual-role as head of our Paris office and senior member of the global health practice demonstrates how our agency values and growth attract exceptional talent," said Bowman-Boyles. "Mina is among the great health communicators with knowledge and experience engaging some of the most influential players in medical innovation, patient advocacy and public health across Europe," said Bashe. "Her collaborative approach is already strengthening the service and insight Finn Partners offers health clients around the globe.  Just as importantly, she lives the Finn Partners value of making a difference in the world through her professional and volunteer efforts." Volovitch began her career at Merck working in marketing, eventually becoming director of communications at MSD Paris. Following Merck, Volovitch joined the Mérieux Institute (the vaccine innovator that is today Sanofi Pasteur), where she served as director of communications. In 1987, she created Mynecom, a specialist healthcare communications agency. Her professional experience includes running national and global professional- and patient-communications programs; handling issues in pharmaceuticals and health products; and expertise across AIDS, biotech, cardiology, immunology, infectious disease, medical devices, oncology and vaccines. She is also a member of the National League Against Cancer communications working group. "I am energized and proud to join Finn Partners during this exciting time of growth for its global health practice and Paris office," said Volovitch.  "I share the agency's commitment to make a difference in the world, and the icing on the cake is building upon professional relationships with colleagues with whom I've worked in the past. Quite simply, I have deep trust and respect for Finn Partners management team in building one of the world's fastest growing PR and marketing communications agencies," she added. About Finn Partners, Inc. Finn Partners was launched in late 2011 to realize Peter Finn's vision to create a leading communications agency dedicated to shaping a bold new future in which innovation and partnership are strong brand drivers. Finn Partners specializes in the full spectrum of marketing and public relations services, including digital and social media. Practice areas include arts, consumer, CSR and social impact, education, financial services, health, technology and travel & lifestyle. Since its inception four years ago, Finn Partners has received six agency awards that are indicators of client and cultural leadership: "Best Midsize Agency" in 2015, "Best Agency to Work For" in 2013 and "Best New Agency" in 2012 from the Holmes Report and "Midsize PR Firm of the Year" in 2015 and "Top Places to Work in PR" in 2013 from PR News. Headquartered in New York City, the company has approximately 550 employees, with offices in Chicago, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Jerusalem, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Nashville, Paris, Portland, San Francisco and Washington D.C., and offers international capabilities through its own global network and PROI Worldwide. Find us at www.finnpartners.com and follow us on Twitter @finnpartners.

News Article | November 11, 2016
Site: www.fastcompany.com

Updated December 1 with departures of Catanzara, Torrey, and McKenna Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald Trump has portrayed himself as the ultimate outsider, not beholden to special interests and lobbyists, and uniquely qualified to stop corruption and influence-peddling in the halls of power in Washington, D.C. Along with building "the wall" and "Crooked Hillary," condemning special interests and the #DrainTheSwamp meme was a recurring catchphrase in his speeches. Last October, he railed against "the political class that is owned outright by special interests and lobbyists." He continued: "They’ve betrayed our workers, they’ve betrayed our borders and, most of all, they’ve betrayed our freedoms. We will save our sovereign rights as a nation. We will end the politics of profit; we will end the rule of special interests." What a difference a few days make. Just three days after his victory on Tuesday night, Trump has surrounded himself with advisers who are lobbyists and a transition team guided by those who represent the very "special interests" he decried, including lobbyists for Google, oil companies, mining giants, and other corporations and organizations, according to excellent reporting in Politico and the New York Times, both of which obtained an organizational chart of the transition team (see below). Advocates for progressive causes and safety and health regulations were not surprised at Trump's apparent hypocrisy on lobbyists. "I don’t think it’s any surprise that his 'drain the swamp' sloganeering turned out to be just that," wrote Matthew Shudtz, the executive director of the Center for Progressive Reform, in an email to Fast Company. "To me, the interesting question is whether Mr. Trump will develop any sort of unifying vision for his team. Or are we entering an era of deregulatory free-for-all?" And Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress, emailed: "It's hard to fight the 'rigged' system when you fill your administration with the very individuals complicit in the rigging. President-elect Trump promised millions of angry Americans that Washington would be different under his leadership. He decried the influence of big banks, Wall Street fat cats, and powerful special interests. Now it appears he's offering them room-and-board in the White House. If these leaked reports are to be believed, the swamp's drain is obviously clogged." On Wednesday, November 15, Trump aides announced that his transition team would not include lobbyists and that officials and staffers in his administration would be barred from lobbying for five years after leaving government service. Then on November 16, the Trump team announced that lobbyists working for the incoming administration would have to terminate their lobbyist registrations and agree to abstain from lobbying for five years after leaving the administration. That prompted the immediate departures of three members of the team. These included CGCN's Michael Catanzaro and MWR Strategies' Michael McKenna, both of whom were working on energy issues; and Michael Torrey, who was helping to transition the Department of Agriculture, reports Politico. Here’s an alphabetical running list of all the lobbyists currently working for the team, their roles, and their lobbying history. And it will be updated (those who have since left the transition team due to new restrictions have their listings struck through). Benczkowski, Brian Justice Department transition team Former lobbyist with Kirkland and Ellis Clients: Harbinger Capital Partners Bernhardt, David Interior Department transition team Lobbyist with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck Clients: Westlands Water District (in California) Former clients: Freeport LNG, Rosemont Copper Bradfield, Mary Ann Small Business Administration transition team Former lobbyist for the National Rifle Association Ciccone, Christine Transition team Lobbyist for Centrus Energy and formerly lobbied for Honeywell Claver-Carone, Mauricio Treasury Department transition team Lobbyist on U.S.-Cuba relations (until Friday) at Cuba Democracy Advocates Collins, Rob Personnel Lobbyist with S-3 Group Clients: Google, JPMorgan, United LaunchAlliance (Lockheed Martin + Boeing joint venture), Council for Investor Rights and Corporate Accountability Domenech, Doug Energy Department transition team Former lobbyist for Artemis Strategies Clients: SAP America, Little Planet Learning, Qtero, HJ Heinz Eisenach, Jeffrey FCC transition team Consultant to telecom industry who’s been paid by Verizon and AT&T Hart, J. Steven Labor Department transition team Lobbyist with William & Jensen Clients: Anthem, Cheniere Energy, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Visa,, PhRMA, United Airlines, and the American Council of Life Insurers. Hohlt, Rick Transition team Lobbyist with the Hohlt Group Clients: Sallie Mae, Bristol Myers, Chevron, the Federalist Group, JPMorgan Chase, Nuclear Energy Institute Korbey, Michael Social Security Administration transition team Formerly lobbied for the United Seniors Association, a group that spent millions to support former President George W. Bush's privatization plan Lighthizer, Robert U.S. Trade Representative transition team Formerly lobbied for U.S. Steel Lundberg, Rolf Trade reform Lobbies for Choice Hotels and the International Franchise Association Machida, Ado Policy team Lobbies for defense giant BAE System, formerly lobbied for Hitachi America, UPS Palatucci, William Transition team general counsel Lobbyist with Dughi, Hewit and Palatucci Clients: Aetna and Verizon Pitcock, Josh Transition team Lobbyist for the state of Indiana Torrey, Michael Agriculture Department transition team Lobbies for the American Beverage Association, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau Whitmer, Martin Transportation and infrastructure Lobbyist with Whitmer & Worrall Clients: American Association of Railroads, the National Asphalt Pavement Association, Utilities Technology Council If you have information on additional members of the transition team, please contact me at mbaram@fastcompany.com

PubMed | Showa University, Sapporo Kosei General Hospital, Hiroshima University, Kumamoto Shinto General Hospital and 4 more.
Type: Clinical Trial, Phase III | Journal: Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology | Year: 2016

Daclatasvir combined with asunaprevir is the first all-oral, ribavirin-free treatment of hepatitis C virus genotype 1b infection in Japan. This study compared the efficacy and safety of daclatasvir plus asunaprevir versus telaprevir plus peginterferon/ribavirin in Japanese treatment-naive patients infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 1b.Treatment-naive patients (20-70 years; baseline viral load, 100,000 IU/mL) were randomly assigned (stratified by IL28B rs8099917 TT/non-TT status) to receive either daclatasvir 60 mg tablets once daily and asunaprevir 100 mg softgel capsules twice daily for 24 weeks or telaprevir 750 mg (3 250 mg tablets) three times daily for 12 weeks and peginterferon/ribavirin per Japanese prescribing information for 24 weeks. A cohort of prior relapsers to peginterferon/ribavirin (20-75 years; baseline viral load, 100,000 IU/mL) received daclatasvir plus asunaprevir.In treatment-naive patients, sustained virologic response at post-treatment week 12 in daclatasvir plus asunaprevir recipients was non-inferior (treatment difference, +25.8% in favor of daclatasvir plus asunaprevir) and higher (89.1%, 106/119) than telaprevir plus peginterferon/ribavirin recipients (62.2%, 69/111); sustained viral response was achieved in 95.5% (n = 21/22) of relapsers. Numerically, fewer patients receiving daclatasvir plus asunaprevir compared with telaprevir plus peginterferon/ribavirin experienced serious adverse events (4.2% vs. 5.4%), adverse events leading to discontinuation of any drug (5.0% vs. 62.2%), grade 3/4 treatment-related adverse events (14.3% vs. 72.1%), rash-related events (0% vs. 13.5%), or anemia (0% vs. 47.7%).Marked differences were observed in the efficacy and safety profile of daclatasvir in combination with asunaprevir, compared with telaprevir plus peginterferon/ribavirin.

News Article | September 1, 2016
Site: phys.org

"This new process provides an entirely new pathway for constructing one of the 'cornerstones' of chiral molecules, namely, beta-chiral centers, and should accelerate the development of chiral drugs," said senior author Jin-Quan Yu, Frank and Bertha Hupp Professor in the Department of Chemistry at TSRI. The new method, published in the September 2, 2016 issue of the journal Science, is a major addition to the molecule-construction toolkit. A molecule that is chiral is physically not symmetric; it thus has a "mirror image" form that looks different in the way that a right hand looks different from a left hand. Often only one of these two chiral forms has the desired drug properties—the other one may even cause unwanted side effects. Most modern drugs therefore contain just one chiral form of the drug molecule. Achieving this isn't always easy, though; there are relatively few useful reactions that yield single chiral forms rather than a roughly equal mix of both. In the new study, the team tackled the problem of adding chiral asymmetry to a common organic structure in which, at one end, a carbon atom is attached to two hydrogen atoms via single bonds—a "beta methylene" in chemists' parlance. Selectively replacing just one of the two hydrogens with a new cluster of atoms (known as a functional group) would make the structure asymmetric and would enable the construction of beta-chiral centers in a wide variety of chiral drug molecules. However, chemists have not had an easy method for doing this—the standard textbook method, conjugate addition, requires the additional step of creating a double bond at the carbon. Yu's lab in recent years has helped pioneer a number of new strategies that can direct a palladium atom—whose properties make it an excellent bond-breaking catalyst in many contexts—to a precise location on an organic molecule, in order to rip apart a selected carbon-hydrogen bond. In this case, Yu's team engineered a chiral catalyst that can direct a palladium atom to displace just one or the other hydrogen selectively on a beta methylene carbon atom to create asymmetry. The displacement in this case allows the hydrogen's replacement by a variety of aryl groups—structures that are commonly used in drug molecules. The catalyst structure includes two palladium-holding clusters of atoms called quinoline and NHAc groups. Such bidentate (literally: double-toothed) compounds normally have what is called a five-membered ring chelating structure, but in this case, a five-membered structure proved too rigid to accommodate the necessary reactions. "In addition to the exquisite design of the quinoline and NHAc motifs, we ended up engineering a six-membered ring chelating structure, which is more flexible—that was surprising, but very important to our success," said Gang Chen, a research associate in the Yu Laboratory who was first author of the paper. The new technique works well with two broad and relatively inexpensive classes of starting compounds, aliphatic amides and free carboxylic acids, providing efficient yields and very high ratios of the desired chiral form over the other. In principle, the technique can be broadened even further. "We are now working to extend this reaction to other starting materials such as alkyl amines and alcohols," Yu said. "We are also working on methods for replacing the carbon-hydrogen bond not just by aryls but by a much wider variety of nitrogen and oxygen-containing organic fragments." Through an ongoing research collaboration agreement with TSRI, the pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers-Squibb is already using the new method for making a chiral γ-amino acid needed for the synthesis of a candidate drug. In the fundamental study of how the new catalyst functions, Yu and his team collaborated with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) laboratory of chemist Kendall N. Houk to develop a "stereomodel" of the catalyst and its interactions with the starting material. "This stereomodel should pave the way for further refinement of chiral catalysts," said Yu. Explore further: Chemists achieve new technique with profound implications for drug development

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