News Column

UK MIDDAY BRIEFING: Glaxo In Collaboration On Cancer Drugs

June 2, 2014



LONDON (Alliance News) - GlaxoSmithKline has signed a collaboration and licensing agreement with UK-based biotechnology company Adaptimmune Ltd for its cancer programme, a move that comes just weeks after it agreed to sell its own cancer drug business to Novartis as part of a broader asset swap.



Glaxo's deal with the biotechnology company will see the two companies develop and commercialise Adaptimmune's NY-ESO-1 cancer treatment, as well as Adaptimmune's other treatments using its T-cell receptor engineering technology. Adapitmmune said the deal would be worth a potential USD350 million to it over the next seven years.



Still, Glaxo is one of the few fallers on the FTSE 100 Monday, after it also said a late stage study of two potential early breast cancer treatments used in combination, lapatinib and trastuzumab, suggested there was no improvement in disease free survival compared to using just trastuzumab.



The UK's leading stock index is trading higher, with the mining sector leading the gains after an improved Chinese manufacturing PMI was released on Sunday. The mining and metal stocks that sold off last week are leading the gains, with Anglo American up 2.4%. Rio Tinto up 1.8%, and Glencore up 1.8%.



The picture in Europe is more mixed as Markit PMI readings released across the region Monday have been broadly disappointing. Futures trading indicates that a marginally higher start can be expected on Wall Street at the opening bell.



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FTSE 100: up 0.3% at 6,863.32

FTSE 250: up 0.5% at 16,083.01

AIM ALL-SHARE: down 0.1% at 814.51

GBP-USD: flat at 1.6759

EUR-USD: down at 1.3607

GOLD: down at USD1,245.40 an ounce

OIL (Brent): down at USD109.32 a barrel

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Top UK Corporate News

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Lloyds Banking Group has given TSB GBP450 million as part of its stock market floatation, the Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday, citing documents sent to investors. Lloyds, which is spinning off TBS in a stock market listing to satisfy European Commission requirements, will pay up to GBP450 million in the case that TSB wants to change its technology platform or if it is taken over, the paper says. The newspaper cited sources saying that the dowry could be viewed as a potential sweetener for any would-be buyer of the new bank.

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Shire has secured a USD5 billion credit facility from banks including Citigroup to finance its planned takeover offer for the US's NPS Pharmaceuticals, The Times said on Monday, citing insiders. The FTSE 100 listed pharmaceutical company is believed to have arranged the deal to buttress its takeover offer for NPS, a developer of drugs for sufferers of a debilitating bowel condition.

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St Modwen Properties said it still expects to report pretax profit for the first half of its financial year significantly up on the year-earlier period, after it continued to perform "strongly" over the past two months. In a statement, the property company said it expects its asset management and added value activities to be reflected positively in half-year valuations, while initial indications point to a rise in market valuations for the first half of the year compared with November 2013, reflecting improvements in the residential and commercial property markets across the UK.

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Infrastructure company Balfour Beatty said it had sold its interests in two public-private partnership assets for GBP97 million in total, generating total gains on disposal of GBP51 million. In a statement, the company said it had sold its 50% interest in the University Hospital of North Durham PPP project and its 100% interest in the Knowsley Building Schools for the Future project, with both assets bought by Dalmore Capital Ltd.

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AIM MOVERS

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Bglobal is up after the company said it had agreed to sell its Utiligroup Ltd subsidiary for GBP16.1 million in cash to private equity company NorthEdge Capital LLP, and plans to return money to shareholders and de-list from AIM once the deal completes. Shares in Union Jack Oil have jumped after the company said that an independent technical report carried out on its PEDL201 licence in the UKMidlands has confirmed significant shale oil and gas potential at the Widmerpool Gulf region of the site. Leni Gas & Oil shares have also risen after the company said its GY-664 well in the Goudron Field, Trinidad, was brought into production on Friday and has now stabilised at a strong rate of 240 barrels of oil per day, while drilling at its GY-665 well has already found a region of oil-bearing sand.Range Resources is up after it entered into a services agreement with LandOcean Energy Services Co Ltd, coupled with a financing package of USD50 million. At the other end of the market, shares in DQ Entertainment have dropped after it reported higher profit for its last financial year as revenue was lifted by distribution deals as the company tapped new markets in Latin America, Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East. However, the company also reported provisions for bad debts, a smaller order book, and said it won't pay a dividend due to its negative cash position.

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Top Economics And General

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British manufacturing activity continued robust expansion in May, led by strong growth in output, new orders and new export business, survey data from the Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply showed. The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index eased to 57 from April's five-month high of 57.3. A PMI score above 50 suggest expansion in the sector. The sector has grown every month since March last year.

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UK mortgage approvals declined to the the lowest since July 2013, data from the Bank of England showed. Approvals fell more-than-expected to 62,918 in April, a nine-month low, from 66,563 in March. The expected level was 64,500. Lending secured on dwellings increased GBP 1.7 billion from March, when it was up GBP 1.8 billion. At the same time, consumer credit rose GBP 0.7 billion compared to March's GBP 1 billion increase. M4 money supply declined further in May, down 0.6% annually compared to a 0.3% drop in March.

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Plans to allow workers to contribute to Dutch-style collective pensions are to be unveiled by the government and are expected to feature in a Pensions Bill to be announced in the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, the BBC reports Monday without saying where it got the information. By running funds collectively rather than individually, supporters argue costs will be lower and therefore pension incomes will be higher. Ministers say the move will give people "better value", but critics argue the returns are not certain, the BBC says. Under the changes, which could be introduced by 2016 the BBC says, workers would be able to pay into funds shared with potentially thousands of other members.

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The recovery in the Eurozone manufacturing sector was slower than initially estimated in May, final data from Markit Economics showed. The final seasonally adjusted Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 52.2 from 53.4 in April. The flash estimate for May was 52.5.

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Showing signs of a stabilizing economy, China's manufacturing sector growth accelerated in May to its highest level this year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed Sunday. China's purchasing managers' index for May improved to 50.8 from 50.4 in April, showing signs of a pickup in the manufacturing sector and the economy -- the third consecutive monthly growth. The index, a key indicator of how the economy performs, has been on the rise since March after three straight months of decline.

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Ukraine has paid the first instalment in a series of payments for Russian gas, Moscow confirmed, potentially blunting one of the lingering points of tension between the two countries. Ukrainian supplier Naftogas disbursed USD786.4 million to pay off its gas debt, reported the Russian Energy Ministry, as quoted by the Interfax news agency. Russia says Ukraine's total gas debt amounts to USD5.2 billion and has threatened to stop the flow of gas if no payment is made. Renewed negotiations are expected later Monday in Brussels.

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At least five people were killed and 15 injured when separatist fighters tried to storm the headquarters of the Ukrainian border guards in the eastern city of Luhansk, the agency said. Some 500 fighters continue to attack the building with mortars, machine guns and automatic rifles, the border guard service said. The agency accused the fighters of hiding in surrounding apartment blocks and on roofs and using civilians as "human shields." The border guards service said that 7 officers were injured in the fighting and claimed that 5 attackers were killed and 8 injured. A separatist spokesman confirmed only one injured fighter, the Interfax news agency reported.

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Jean-Claude Juncker said in interview published Sunday that he is confident he will become the next president of the European Commission, despite British Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly warning it could lead to his country's exit from the bloc. "Europe should not be blackmailed," the former conservative primer minister of Luxembourg told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Juncker added that he had "large support" from EU leaders - both conservative and socialist - to assume the top spot in the European Commission, the 28-member union's executive arm, and that he could be in the position by mid-July.

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Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said Saturday the country faces a tough road ahead after its top court once again blew a hole in the government's budget by declaring cost-cutting efforts unconstitutional. "It will not be easy to find a way out of this," said Passos Coelho. "The government will not be rushed into a decision." However, he said his administration would respect the ruling, keep Portugal from descending into crisis and find a solution that did not require asking EU allies for aid. But he said he was "deeply concerned." The Friday ruling by Portugal's top court said that about EUR1 billion in benefit cuts for public employees would be discriminatory and, therefore, unlawful.

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The Afghan government voiced opposition to the release of five high-level Taliban members from Guantanamo Bay detention camp this weekend, saying that sending them to Qatar could be against international law. The US government on Saturday freed five senior figures in the Taliban after they had spent 13 years in custody, in exchange for US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in June 2009.

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At least 60 people were killed Sunday when Islamist extremist sect Boko Haram bombed a bar and brothel near a major military base in northern Nigeria, according to local newspaper Sahara Reporters. A major explosion rocked two buildings in the town of Mubi in Adamawa State at 1700 GMT, in close proximity to a special operations battalion of Nigeria's army, which is focused on fighting Boko Haram, security officials said.

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The US government will introduce new regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a third by 2030, according to media reports Sunday. At the order of President Barack Obama, the US Environmental Protection Agency will lay out a plan Monday that envisions power plants releasing 30% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 16 years than they did in 2005. The new regulations would go in effect in a year.

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Afternoon Watchlist (all times British Summer Time)

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13:00 Germany Consumer Price Index

13:00 Germany Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices

14:45 US Markit Manufacturing PMI

15:00 US Construction Spending

15:00 US ISM Manufacturing PMI

15:00 US ISM Prices Paid

21:00 US Total Vehicle Sales

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Tuesday's Key UK Corporate Events

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B.P. Marsh Full Year Results

Pennon Group Full Year Results

Severfield-Rowen Full Year Results

Wolseley Interim Management Statement

LondonMetric Property Full Year Results

Atlantis Resources Full Year Results

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Tuesday's Key Economic Events (all times British Summer Time)

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00:50 Japan Monetary Base

02:00 China Non-manufacturing PMI

02:30 Japan Labor Cash Earnings

02:45 China HSBC Manufacturing PMI

07:00 UK Nationwide Housing Prices

09:30 UK BOE Credit Conditions Survey

09:30 UK PMI Construction

10:00 EU Consumer Price Index

10:00 EU Unemployment Rate

14:45 US ISM New York index

15:00 US Factory Orders

15:00 US IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism

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Contact: +44 203 668 7440; newsroom@alliancenews.com; @AllNewsTeam






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