Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

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.

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