Wellcome Trust complains to chancellor over possible AstraZeneca deal

first_imgIn its letter, Wellcome said it had major concerns because of the importance of the pharmaceutical industry to wider biomedical research.Wellcome’s mission is to improve human and animal health, principally through funding biomedical research and its translation into healthcare.More than three-quarters of its £750m annual spending currently supports research in the UK.The letter, from Wellcome’s chairman Sir William Castell and director Jeremy Farrar, said: “Pfizer’s past acquisitions of major pharmaceutical companies have led to a substantial reduction in R&D activity, which we are concerned could be replicated in this instance.“If AstraZeneca does merge with Pfizer, we think it essential the R&D and manufacturing capability it offers to the UK is maintained and, critically, that its investment in its major R&D facility in Cambridge is not lost.”Wellcome said it was encouraged by Pfizer’s open letter to the UK prime minister, which included a commitment to complete and operate AstraZeneca’s Cambridge R&D facility, to employ a minimum of 20% of the combined company’s R&D workforce in the UK, and to maintain manufacturing capacity in the UK.But the letter continued: “We believe, however, that it is critical the government holds Pfizer to these commitments should its offer succeed, as the company has not always honoured similar undertakings made following past acquisitions. We would be pleased to hear how you propose to do so.”Wellcome declined to comment on any presumed shareholding in AstraZeneca. The Wellcome Trust – the UK’s largest charitable foundation, with a £16.5bn (€20.2bn) endowment – has written to chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne to raise “major concerns” about the proposed takeover of Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca by US multinational Pfizer.The possible takeover, which has so far been rejected by AstraZeneca, has provoked a wave of criticism in the UK and Sweden because of its potential effect on jobs.Andres Borg, Sweden’s finance minister, has claimed Pfizer broke promises made to maintain research investment in Sweden when it bought local drug maker Pharmacia in 2002.AstraZeneca is one of only two large pharmaceutical companies to pursue substantial research and development (R&D) activity within the UK.last_img read more

Syracuse’s offense stifled in two losses to Duke

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ After Gianna Carideo fouled off three pitches, ran a full-count and eventually earned a walk, Syracuse’s offense had one of its few positives.Carideo’s walk meant the Orange had the lead-off runner on, down by just one run in the bottom of the seventh. But in the Orange’s next three at-bats, nothing materialized. Jessica Skladal struck out on four pitches, Gabby Teran flew out to left and Bryce Holmgren dribbled the final out to the pitcher’s circle.In two games against the Blue Devils, SU couldn’t adjust. It couldn’t catch up to the Duke pitchers’ fastballs, and couldn’t wait long enough to sit back and hit changeups. All weekend, the season-long inconsistencies of the Orange (18-22, 7-8 Atlantic Coast) lineup left them unable to string together hits and drive-in runs. Duke (23-23, 10-8) took both games of the Saturday afternoon doubleheader, 5-1 and 3-2.“Our offense was terrible, I don’t think we showed very much fight today, our at-bats were very complacent,” SU head coach Shannon Doepking said. “We had no fight, we had no fire.”Entering the weekend, Syracuse’s offense was hitting better than it had at any point last season. With eight wins in their last 10, the Orange’s offensive output was nearly 2.5 runs per game higher than it was in 2018. SU had followed Doepking’s hitting philosophy: be aggressive early in counts, swing more for power than contact and adjust from one at-bat to the next.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter Holmgren grounded out to first in the opening inning of game two, she jogged back toward the SU dugout, first stopping to whisper a message in Alicia Hansen and AJ Kaiser’s ears, the next two hitters in the lineup. She tried to give them a tip about the pitcher’s tendencies she noticed.The Orange didn’t communicate enough, though, Doepking and senior Hannah Dossett said. The Duke pitching staff, led by Peyton St. George’s complete-game shutout in game one and a trio of pitchers in game two, kept SU hitters off balanced. For the weekend, St. George threw 15 innings, allowing just two earned runs in three appearances.SU typically celebrates frequently in the dugout, on the field and in the circle. But other than the dugout rendition of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and the typical cheers for each hitter, Teran and Doepking said the dugout energy was down. She said it translated into their at-bats too.“I didn’t like anything about our approach. You should never see a pitcher that many times and not be able to hit them it’s crazy,” Doepking said. “I think we’ve got to get outside of ourselves and take it one pitch at a time.”Syracuse tried to move back in the box and wait on the changeup. On Friday, it worked enough to put up one four-run inning and ride a dominant Alexa Romero to victory. But in game one on Saturday, the pressure continued to mount on Romero with each passing inning. Eventually, a two-out rally and three consecutive Duke hits in the gaps broke open a five-run sixth inning and a four-run lead. In the sixth and seventh innings of game one, the Orange got a runner on each time, but failed to cut into the deficit.“Our pitchers put us in a really good position today, and we just couldn’t string the hits together,” Dossett said. “I think Duke did a good job of that and we just couldn’t like we had in the past.”SU’s inept offense spoiled strong pitching performances from Romero, Miranda Hearn and Peyton Schnackenberg. Hearn pitched two innings in relief, allowing just one unearned run. Schnackenberg started game two and completed 4.1 innings, allowing two earned on back-to-back extra-base hits in the second.Syracuse fought back in game two, tying it in the third on a two-run Hansen triple in the gap in right field. Teran scored easily from second, and Holmgren ran into the catcher despite being beaten on the throw, knocking the ball out of her glove, ruling her safe.A two-out Blue Devils’ single and double thereafter brought in the winning run in the sixth inning. Syracuse had a base runner in its last two innings, but squandered both.After the two losses, Doepking met with the entire team in left field for about 15 minutes. Once half the team dispersed, though, a few remained. Logan Paul, Toni Martin, Romero, Holmgren, Teran, the coaching staff and a few others spoke for more than 20 minutes.“Offensively, we need to get back to where we were,” Teran said. “We need to move runners, get productive outs.” Comments Published on April 13, 2019 at 8:07 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected]last_img read more