Kimono Openings at Schering
Disclosure may be an unwelcome visitor at Big Pharma, but formerly secretive executives are growing used to its demands, with some SEC encouragement. A recent 8K filing by Schering-Plough was as revealing as it was unusual. The company's recently disclosed contract with Merck on the co-development and co-promotion of cholesterol-lowering agent ezetimibe (Zetia) looks like a poison pill that will discourage a takeover of Schering.
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If new disclosure rules proposed by the SEC become final as expected, they will make the Current Report Form 8-K filed by public companies more timely and more revealing--both about themselves and their partners. The rules stipulate 11 new reportable events, three of which are directly related to alliances, and the SEC also wants management to analyze the impact of the events they disclose. Life sciences lawyers say it's not fully clear what sorts of things companies in this sector will have to report: the impact of new 8-k rules will be decided with practice.
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