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

Zion Williamson injury update: Duke expects star back Thursday for ACC Tournament

first_imgProjected by many to be a top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Williamson has been averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 68.3 percent from the field in 2018-19.Duke (26-5, 14-4 ACC) went 23-2 while Williamson was healthy, but fell 3-3 in the nearly six full games he missed. Krzyzewski also indicated he doesn’t think it will take a long time for Williamson and the rest of the Blue Devils to get acclimated to having the forward back in the lineup.”These guys will react quickly,” he said. “It depends on Zion, his shape, but I think they’ll respond real quick.” Williamson initially suffered the knee injury within the first 40 seconds of the Blue Devils’ first matchup against the Tar Heels on Feb. 20. “I think we’ll get Zion back for Thursday,” Krzyzewski told reporters after his team’s loss to No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday. “He worked out this morning — again, no contact — but Monday, there will be. Hopefully, we’ll get a couple good days of practice where he can be 5-on-5, and then see how that goes. But the way he looks right now, I think it’s just a matter of getting in shape, getting in game shape, and going forward.” Related News Zion Williamson is one step closer to his return. After missing his fifth full game with a knee sprain, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is confident his star player will return Thursday to open the ACC Tournament. Three takeaways from No. 3 North Carolina’s sweep of No. 4 Dukelast_img read more

Lakers notes: Kupchak takes trip to China

first_imgKupchak described the Chinese Basketball Association games as being “very competitive,” but said he couldn’t answer the question of whether a Chinese player might join the Lakers in the next decade. “In the next 10 years, I could see several Chinese players in the league,” Kupchak said. “I couldn’t say there’d be 30 or 40, but I can see multiple players in the league. Would one of those guys end up on a Lakers roster? I don’t know.” The Lakers took a step toward that end in hiring Gary Boyson, a Hong Kong-based scout, last season. Kupchak had not traveled to China before his January trip, although the Lakers have made two or three trips a year to Europe in the past decade. “There’s a chance that this year one of the players we went to see is going to be in the draft,” Kupchak said. “So this was the year (to go). Next year, although I can see basketball continuing to grow at a healthy rate there, the competitive nature there, I don’t know if there’ll be a draftable player next year.” Midseason review: Before the Lakers left for the All-Star break, coach Phil Jackson offered his thoughts on the first 50-plus games. Given the rash of injuries in training camp, Jackson was asked if he would have taken a 30-23 record back in October. “I told the team, `We’re not unhappy with what our record is, but we’re not happy with how we’ve played the last two weeks, the last three weeks actually,”‘ Jackson said. Jackson said he was hopeful that center Kwame Brown and forward Luke Walton could return from their respective sprained ankles soon after the break. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! One of the frustrations of the job for Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is sometimes fighting traffic to attend a college game, only to watch the player he came to see sprain an ankle or struggle with foul trouble. But Kupchak was investing more than just a couple of hours on the Southern California highways when he flew to China in late January for a six-day scouting trip. center_img It was Kupchak’s first trip to the country and he went with a list of three or four prospects he wanted to see. Assistant general manager Ronnie Lester also made the trip, which Kupchak described Thursday as being “worthwhile.” Although Kupchak could not comment on the players he saw, 19-year-old forward Yi Jianlian is regarded as a potential first-round draft pick. Jianlian is a 7-footer who would follow Wang Zhizhi, Mengke Bateer and Yao Ming into the NBA. last_img