Glaxo-Merck News, Amgen CEO, and Transocean Wins

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Glaxo gets approved while Merck gets denied, Amgen raises Bradway’s salary, and Transocean scores a win in court.

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A panel of cancer experts rejected an experimental Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) drug for a rare form of cancer on Tuesday while recommending approval of a GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) treatment for the same disease. Neither drug appears to help patients live longer, but panelists said Glaxo's Votrient helped delay tumor growth in the most vulnerable patients.

Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN) said Tuesday that it will raise Robert Bradway's annual salary to $1.4 million from just over $1 million as part of his promotion to CEO.  Bradway is Amgen's president and chief operating officer. He will take over from Kevin Sharer as CEO on May 23; the pay raise takes effect May 21.  AMGN shares closed the day down -0.69% at $67.58 on volume of 3.32M shares.

A federal judge in New York on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit from investors who alleged top executives of Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) misled shareholders about safety problems in the months leading up to a catastrophic oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.  On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald threw out a class-action suit against Transocean. The Swiss company leased the Deepwater Horizon rig to BP PLC to drill a deep-sea well off the Louisiana coast. The well blew out in April 2010, killing 11 workers, destroying the rig and causing the nation's worst offshore oil disaster.

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