- The 20th annual International AIDS Conference is going ahead as scheduled this week in Melbourne, Australia, despite the loss of roughly 100 AIDS activists and researchers in a Malaysia Airlines plane crash July 17. The plane crashed near the Russia-Ukraine border after reportedly being shot down by a surface-to-air missile. The International AIDS Society, the organization holding the conference, said July 18 that “in recognition of our colleagues' dedication to the fight against HIV/AIDS, the conference will go ahead as planned and will include opportunities to reflect and remember those we have lost.” One American was reported among the dead.
- Drugmaker AbbVie has reached a deal worth roughly $55 billion to combine with British counterpart Shire, becoming the latest U.S. company to seek an overseas haven from U.S. taxes. The companies announced July 18 that they will create a new company incorporated on the British island of Jersey, where Shire currently is incorporated. But the new company will be controlled by shareholders of North Chicago, Ill.-based AbbVie, who will own about 75% of the new company's stock. Shire shareholders will hold the remaining 25%. For an in-depth look at big pharma mergers and their tax concerns, see the story starting on p. 24.
- Generic-drugmaker Mylan and six other groups signed an agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool on July 17 to manufacture atazanavir and dolutegravir, two generic HIV medicines. Mylan's announcement came a few days after the Canonsburg, Pa.-based pharmaceuticals company agreed to acquire Abbott Laboratories' generics business in a $5.3 billion all-stock deal. It also comes as the 20th International AIDS Conference convenes this week. The Medicines Patent Pool, an HIV treatment organization backed by the United Nations and based in Geneva, negotiates licenses for drugmakers to produce low-cost generic drugs for developing countries.
AIDS conference to remember researchers killed in crash, and other briefs
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.