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BlackRock to join S&P 500 index

BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest money manager, will be added to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, S&P said in a release on Tuesday. Get the full story »

Hospira shares rise after Sanofi cancer drug OK’d

Hospira won approval for the first U.S. generic version of Sanofi-Aventis SA’s big-selling Taxotere cancer drug, sending Hospira shares up 2 percent.

U.S. sales of Taxotere, an infused chemotherapy known generically as docetaxel, were $1.2 billion last year, according to Hospira. JPMorgan analyst Chris Schott said recently that U.S. approval of generic Taxotere was the most important near-term catalyst for Hospira’s shares. Get the full story »

FDA questions Sanofi reporting of side effects

U.S. health regulators have warned Sanofi-Aventis SA’s U.S. unit for failing to submit reports of possible serious drug side effects in a timely manner.

In a Jan. 28 letter made public Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration said an early response from the drugmaker and its “promised corrective actions are inadequate to address the deficiencies.” Get the full story »

Sanofi buys Genzyme for $20.1B

French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA has agreed to buy Genzyme Corp. with a sweetened $20.1 billion cash offer, plus payments tied to the success of the U.S. biotech group’s drugs, the companies said on Wednesday.

The acquisition, which comes nine months after Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher first put the idea to Genzyme’s Henri Termeer, is expected to boost Sanofi’s earnings from the first year after completion by giving it a new platform in rare diseases. Get the full story »

Sanofi, Genzyme reportedly reach a deal

Sanofi-Aventis SA and Genzyme Corp. have reached an agreement in principle under which Sanofi will acquire Genzyme for $74 a share in cash plus a right to future payments based on the performance of Genzyme’s experimental multiple sclerosis drug, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

The deal is expected to be announced by Wednesday morning, the source said.

Sanofi to seal Genzyme deal soon, sources say

French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis could unveil an agreement to acquire U.S. biotech Genzyme before Wednesday, the day Sanofi is due to publish its 2010 results, sources close to the matter said.

A deal would bring to a close the long-running saga sparked by Genzyme’s rejection of Sanofi’s initial $18.5 billion offer, worth $69 a share, which the French group has extended to Feb. 15. Get the full story »

FDA probes seizures in kids after Sanofi flu shot

U.S. health officials are investigating an increase rise in reports of a type of seizure after vaccination with a Sanofi-Aventis SA flu vaccine, the Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday. Get the full story »

Bristol-Myers blood-pressure drug under 2nd recall

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi-Aventis SA have recalled about 64 million tablets of hypertension drug Avalide because a manufacturing problem could affect the drug’s efficacy.

It is the second significant recall of Avalide in recent months. In September, Bristol and Sanofi recalled about 60 million tablets. Get the full story »

Research targets Ambien’s effects on elderly

The popular sleep drug Ambien can leave even the healthiest older people groggy and prone to stumbling, falling and confusion when they wake up, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

The drug, sold by Sanofi-Aventis under the brand name Ambien and known generically as zolpidem, appears to act broadly in the brain and has a numbing effect for at least half an hour after waking, the researchers reported in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society. Get the full story »

Genzyme makes case for demanding higher Sanofi bid

Genzyme Corp. made its case for why it is worth more than Sanofi-Aventis’s $18.5 billion offer, forecasting 2011 profit above Wall Street estimates and sales of $3 billion for its experimental multiple sclerosis drug. Get the full story »

Sanofi-Aventis to lay off 1,700 U.S. employees

Sanofi-Aventis SA, the world’s fourth-biggest drugmaker, said Friday it is eliminating 1,700 jobs in its U.S. pharmaceutical business in a restructuring triggered by growing generic competition and other factors. Get the full story »

Tempers frayed in Sanofi bid for Genzyme

Sanofi-Aventis dismissed a claim by bid target Genzyme that it dangled a higher price for the U.S. biotech company, as a trans-Atlantic takeover fight descended into an ill-tempered stand-off Friday.

Genzyme said Thursday that Sanofi’s chief executive floated the possibility of paying as much as $80 per share at a meeting in September before going hostile with a bid worth $69 per Genzyme share, or a total $18.5 billion. Get the full story »

Sanofi launches hostile $18.5B bid for Genzyme

French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis launched a hostile bid for Genzyme at $69 per share on Monday, taking its $18.5 billion offer direct to shareholders after Genzyme management refused to negotiate. Get the full story »

Genzyme rejects Sanofi-Aventis’ $18.5B offer

Genzyme Corp. rejected an $18.5 billion takeover offer from French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis, saying it dramatically undervalues the company. The Cambridge, Mass.-based biotechnology company said its board of directors met Sunday night and unanimously affirmed a previous rejection of Sanofi’s proposal. Get the full story »

Buffett’s Berkshire trims Kraft, doubles J&J

Warren Buffett’s company has partially rebuilt the stake in Johnson & Johnson he reduced over the past two years to raise cash for other investments, and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. boosted its investment in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. during the second quarter. Berkshire detailed its $46.4 billion U.S. stock holdings Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The document revealed several changes in the Omaha-based company’s portfolio between March 31 and the end of June, including decreases in Berkshire’s holdings in Kraft Foods, ConocoPhillips, Procter & Gamble and M&T Bank. Berkshire also increased its stakes in Becton Dickinson & Co., Nalco Holding Co. and Sanofi Aventis. Get the full story »