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Cough and cold sufferers are being urged to check their medicines after a manufacturing fault may have led to small pieces of plastic contaminating some batches, health officials have said.

Vaccine offers '80 per cent protection' against main cause of meningitis

There are about 1,600 cases of meningococcal disease caused by meningitis B each year and about 120 deaths

Novartis to shed Horsham jobs

Novartis dealt a fresh blow to the pharmaceutical sector yesterday by unveiling moves to shed around 500 jobs at its Horsham site in West Sussex.

Stock markets catch deal fever as M&A booms again

Offers from KNOC, BHP Billiton, Intel and Vedanta take week's bids total to £60bn

Three cleared of insider-dealing charges

The record fine handed down to JP Morgan marked the latest stage in the FSA's attempts to crack down on the City, but the watchdog suffered a setback yesterday when two lawyers and a former finance director were acquitted of insider dealing charges that it had brought against them.

Strong Q1 sales for Novartis

Sales of swine flu vaccine helped the Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis to sales of $2.95bn (£1.9bn) in the first quarter of 2010, the company announced yesterday. Total sales jumped by 25 per cent, to $12.1bn, sending the shares up by nearly 1.5 per cent on the Zurich stock exchange. Novartis said that it expects a strong performance this year from its pharmaceuticals division, after disclosing that drug sales were ahead of its own forecasts. "The strong sales and profit contributions in the first quarter of 2010 from fulfilment of agreed-upon government supply contracts for [H1N1] pandemic vaccines, with sales approximately $400m above the group's target at the beginning of the year, will further strengthen these prospects," Novartis said in a statement. The quarterly results were the first for the new chief executive, Joe Jimenez, and finance director, Jon Symonds.

Lawyers 'desperate' to buy shares before buyout, court told

Two lawyers made nearly £80,000 in unlawful profits after using insider information to buy shares in a small biotech firm on the brink of a large corporate buy out, a court heard today.

Market Report: BG flares up as takeover rumours swirl

A round of bid talks and hopes of growth boosted BG as the FTSE 100, higher in the previous two sessions as recovery hopes drove sentiment, fell back last night.

Investment banker Christian Littlewood latest to face insider dealing charges

FSA seeks to extradite third person as it steps up crackdown on market abuse

Novartis launches $40bn Alcon buyout

Drug group to buy Nestlé's stake, which could see food company bid for Cadbury

Market Report: Housing in focus as Footsie runs out of steam

Housing stocks were in focus last night, after a broker highlighted the sector's "outstanding attractions" – for short sellers.

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