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New directions from the new guard

Under Dave Ricks, sworn in at the outset of the year as CEO and elevated to the chairman's job on June 1, Eli Lilly and Co. shook up biopharma on Tuesday with its decision to de-prioritize a broad swath of early to mid-stage oncology assets. That revelation was nearly upstaged Wednesday by Glaxosmithkline plc's disclosure.

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Merck & Co. Inc. took cardiovascular disease (CVD) experts – and, perhaps, some of its own decision-makers – by surprise last month when it disclosed that the REVEAL (Randomized EValuation of the Effects of Anacetrapib through Lipid modification) outcomes study of its cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor, anacetrapib, met its primary endpoint by reducing major coronary events (defined as the composite of coronary death, myocardial infarction and coronary revascularization) compared to placebo in patients at risk for cardiac events who were already receiving a regimen to lower low-density lipoprotein, or LDL.

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