Pfizer Gains EU Authorization and 2 Dow Movers Attracting Investor Attention

JPMorgan Chase & Company’s (NYSE:JPM) former Chief Executive of Retail Financial Services Charles W. Scharf has been named by Visa’s (NYSE:V) Board of Directors to succeed Joseph W. Saunders as its chief executive, effective November 1st. Scharf is a former director of Visa. Saunders has served as the firm’s chief executive since 2007 and will stay as executive chairman for the remainder of his employment until March 31st of next year. Subsequent to his retirement, the Board expects to name a new non-executive independent chairperson. Additionally, the Board has expanded from 10 to 11 directors and Scharf has been appointed a director, effective November 1st. He is currently Managing Director at One Equity Partners which currently manages $10 billion worth of investments and commitments for JPMorgan.

Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) is among a number of drug firms which “would love to get their hands” on Amarin Corporation(NASDAQ:AMRN) for Vascepa, says the Daily Mail, which also says that AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) could be readying a cash bid for the company as well. Other big pharmas, such as Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and Pfizer, could get into the game.

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Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) said that the European Commission has granted conditional marketing authorization for Xalkori in the European Union for the treatment of adults suffering from previously-treated anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Conditional marketing authorizations in the EU are granted to medicinal products with a positive benefit/risk assessment which look to unmet medical needs and whose availability would significantly benefit public health and are renewable yearly. Since Xalkori has been granted this authorization, Pfizer will be need to submit data to the European Medicines Agency from the recently completed PROFILE 1007 study that was presented in September at the ESMO 2012 Congress. The evaluation met its primary endpoint in patients who were previously treated as ALK-positive advanced NSCLC. Following an appraisal of the 1007 results by the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, the European Commission will make a decision as to conversion of the conditional marketing authorization to a normal marketing authorization.

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