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Swiss Pharma Powerhouse Acino Expands into Latin America with M8 Pharmaceuticals Acquisition

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Acino, a Swiss pharmaceutical company headquartered in Zurich, recently announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire M8 Pharmaceuticals (M8), a fast-growing specialty biopharmaceutical company, headquartered in Mexico City and focused on licensing, marketing, and distributing innovative and established medicines in Mexico and Brazil.

Through this acquisition, Acino will enter the two largest pharmaceutical markets in Latin America, significantly expanding its geographic footprint and strengthening its position in the region, providing a more powerful and comprehensive offering for healthcare professionals and patients. The acquisition will complement Acino’s existing Latin American division, which is based in Panama and operates across eight countries in Central America, the Caribbean, and Ecuador, delivering high-quality medicines to improve people’s health in this key region.

Success in Exclusive Licensing Agreements

M8, a Montreux Growth Partners portfolio company, has a highly successful record of signing exclusive licensing agreements with large pharmaceutical and biotech companies for the rights to market and commercialize products in Latin America. M8 brings a portfolio of well-known proven brands and innovative products, a best-in-class deal-making platform and an outstanding reputation among its partners. Moreover, it has built a large pipeline across a broad range of key therapeutic areas, including CNS, cardiometabolism, respiratory, gastroenterology, oncology and hematology, and rare diseases.

Andrew Bird, Interim CEO at Acino commented: “This is a transformative deal for Acino, significantly expanding our presence in Latin America and delivering against our overall strategy and stated intention to increase patient’s access to high-quality pharmaceuticals and diversify our footprint in key high-growth markets. We see M8 and Acino as highly complementary offerings, and we are confident that we can use this acquisition as a catalyst to further increase value and accelerate growth for Acino in this key region.”

Joel Barlan, CEO at M8 commented: “This agreement will provide M8 with considerable additional resources, expertise, and access to a much wider geographic footprint, which will further accelerate our growth. We look forward to leveraging the skills and capabilities of both teams to grow the combined business and continue to bring proven and innovative treatments to patients and caregivers throughout Latin America and other emerging markets.”

Dan Turner, Managing Director at Montreux Growth Partners commented: “We could not be more pleased with what M8 has achieved during our ownership. We first invested in the early stages of its development. We were able to bring on board a world-class management team, who have focused the company on patient critical therapeutic areas, with a product portfolio that now includes over 30 leading brands from major pharmaceutical companies around the world. The company has delivered tremendous growth and profitability, while also doing much good for the lives of patients. Acino is the perfect acquirer to continue that history of success”.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust clearance, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Banco J.P. Morgan S.A. is acting as exclusive financial advisor, Goodwin LLP as exclusive legal advisor, and PWC as exclusive accounting and tax advisor to Acino. Stifel, Cooley LLP and Credit Suisse, a UBS Group Company acted as advisors to M8.

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Australia ‘outraged’ over aid worker killed in Gaza

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Australia ‘outraged’ over aid worker killed in Gaza

Worker Zomi Frankcom, an aid worker with the World Central Kitchen charity, has tragically lost her life in Gaza due to an Israeli air strike, sparking outrage and demands for transparency from Australia. Foreign Minister Penny Wong has called for a thorough inquiry into the incident, which also resulted in the deaths of six other charity workers.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed his desire to directly speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the death of Ms Frankcom. Netanyahu has acknowledged the incident as an unintended strike on innocent individuals, stating that such events unfortunately occur in the midst of conflict. He has promised a comprehensive investigation into the matter.

Amid escalating tensions between Australia and Israel, Senator Wong emphasized Australia’s strong stance on accountability for the death of humanitarian workers. She stressed the need for a transparent inquiry and full explanation, as well as accountability for those responsible.

Mr Albanese has labeled the deaths of the aid workers as “completely unacceptable,” emphasizing the tragedy of the situation. The Australian Palestine Advocacy Network has gone a step further, calling the deaths not just a tragedy but a crime, and urging the government to take decisive action against Israel.

Ms Frankcom’s family, friends, and colleagues have been left devastated by her untimely demise. Described as a kind and selfless individual, Ms Frankcom’s legacy of compassion and bravery in helping those in need is being mourned by those who knew her.

World Central Kitchen, the charity for which Ms Frankcom was working, has paused its operations in Gaza in the wake of the incident. Chief executive Erin Gore condemned the attack as unforgivable, highlighting the dangers faced by humanitarian organizations in conflict zones.

The Australian government remains firm in its demand for accountability and justice in the wake of this tragedy. While Israel has expressed regret for the incident, the international community, including Australia, is pushing for a transparent investigation and assurance that such events will not be repeated in the future.

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Russian Government Urges Australian Embassy to Remove Social Media Post

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Russian Government Urges Australian Embassy to Remove Social Media Post

Embassy officials from the Australian embassy in Moscow have been summoned by Russian authorities following a social media post that criticized the holding of Russian presidential elections in occupied parts of Ukraine. The Russian foreign ministry stated that the post, made on the Telegram platform, questioned Russia’s territorial integrity and contained false information about the voting process in various Russian regions during the presidential election on March 15-17.

Australia’s Chargé d’affaires was informed that the online post was considered as interference in Russia’s internal affairs. The Russian government demanded that the message be removed and that measures be taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

The Australian embassy’s post on Telegram on March 19, in Russian language, highlighted Australia’s stance on the election conducted by Russia in Ukrainian territories. The post emphasized that these actions by Russia undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence. Australia rejected the outcome of the election and reiterated its call for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory.

The Russian presidential election, which saw President Vladimir Putin declared the winner with over 87% of the vote, took place in areas of Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed, including Crimea and parts of four regions seized after its 2022 invasion.

The incident underscores the ongoing tensions between Russia and Western countries, including Australia, regarding the situation in Ukraine. Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its continued involvement in Ukrainian affairs have been met with strong opposition and condemnation from the international community.

Australian embassy officials have not yet responded publicly to the Russian government’s demands regarding the social media post. It remains to be seen how the Australian government will address the issue and whether the post will be removed as requested by Russian authorities.

As the diplomatic exchange continues between Russia and Australia, the situation highlights the importance of careful communication and diplomacy in addressing sensitive political issues. The tension over the Ukrainian territories and the implications of the Russian presidential election in those areas serve as a stark reminder of the complex challenges facing the international community today.

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What Happened When McDonald’s System Crashed Worldwide!

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What Happened When McDonald's System Crashed Worldwide

McDonald’s says a worldwide IT outage that hindered its servers from processing payments and resulted in restaurants closing across the country and elsewhere on Friday evening was not a cybersecurity violation.

The firm has also confirmed some of its food outlets’ systems are back up and running, and it is currently working to restore service to the rest of its restaurants as soon as possible.

The difficulty is being resolved, according to a McDonald’s spokesman.

“We thank customers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

“Notably, the issue is not related to a cybersecurity event.”

The outage primarily affected the company’s internal systems, with one McDonald’s employee telling the ABC that servers couldn’t see anything on their computer monitors.

It also affected the MyMacca’s app, with notifications being sent to global outage tracker Downdetector from around 4 p.m. AEDT.

McDonald’s employees put up signs telling customers they were unsure when the issues would be fixed.(Digital Daily News)

The technology meltdown affected the fast-food supply chain’s worldwide operations, with stores being closed in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

Restaurants in Canada, Hong Kong, Germany, and Austria were also reportedly affected.

McDonald’s has around 1,000 restaurants in Australia, according to its website.

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