Kimberly Redmond | |

German healthcare conglomerate Bayer AG announced on Thursday it will spend at least $1.5 billion to acquire Vividion Therapeutics, a small US biotechnology firm focused on discovering drugs that target previously unknown binding sites to create novel therapies.

Founded in 2013, San Diego-based Vividion is mainly focused on NRF2-mutant cancers and NRF2 activators for inflammatory diseases, like irritable bowel disease.

Reuters | |

Johnson & Johnson is exploring a plan to offload liabilities from widespread Baby Powder litigation into a newly created business that would then seek bankruptcy protection, according to seven people familiar with the matter.

During settlement discussions, one of the healthcare conglomerate’s attorneys has told plaintiffs’ lawyers that J&J could pursue the bankruptcy plan, which could result in lower payouts for cases that do not settle beforehand, some of the people said. Plaintiffs’ lawyers would initially be unable to stop J&J from taking such a step, though could pursue legal avenues to challenge it later.

Kimberly Redmond | |

In an effort to curb smoking rates, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Thursday it plans to eventually institute a ban on menthol tobacco cigarettes and flavored cigars.

In a press release announcing its decision, the FDA said the move is “based on clear science and evidence establishing the addictiveness and harm of these products and builds on important, previous actions that banned other flavored cigarettes in 2009.”