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By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - Demand for new medicines helped GlaxoSmithKline grow earnings in the second quarter and the drugmaker is set for big gains in the rest of 2016 thanks to a weak pound, after Britain's vote to leave the European Union. GSK, whose outgoing chief executive Andrew Witty had backed Britain staying in the EU, will benefit from the fact that many of its costs are in sterling while it earns nearly all its money overseas. Quarterly sales, in sterling terms, rose 11 percent to 6.53 billion pounds ($8.55 billion) in the three months to June, generating core earnings per share (EPS) up 42 percent at 24.5 pence, GSK said on Wednesday.
(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co said on Wednesday Chief Executive John Lechleiter would retire by the end of the year and would be succeeded by senior vice president David Ricks on January 1. Lechleiter joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist, and became the CEO in April 2008. The Indianapolis drugmaker's earnings growth resumed last year after three years of tumbling sales caused by competition from generic drugs.
By Ben Hirschler LONDON (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline has bought global rights to an experimental drug from Johnson & Johnson for up to 175 million pounds ($230 million), raising its bet on a new generation of biotech medicines for severe asthma. The British drugmaker recently launched Nucala, its first injectable biological asthma drug, and is looking for additional treatments to help more patients who are still struggling with breathing problems. Up to 20 percent of asthma patients suffer from severe disease that is not well controlled with traditional inhalers.
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Severely malnourished children are dying in large numbers in northeast Nigeria, the former stronghold of Boko Haram militants where food supplies are close to running out, Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Wednesday. The medical charity, also known as Doctors Without Borders, urged the United Nations to set up emergency food transports to the area, where up to 800,000 civilians have been cut off for over a year, it said "The situation is a large-scale humanitarian disaster.... There is a vital need to have a food pipeline in place to save the population that can be saved," MSF general director Bruno Jochum told a news briefing. "We are talking at least about pockets of what is close to a famine." Under military escort, a MSF team delivered some 40 metric tonnes of food last week to Banki, a town of 12,000 near the Cameroon border, including emergency supplies for more than 4,000 children.