Over 25,000 blood thinner suits settled

Bayer and Johnson & Johnson have agreed to settle more than 25,000 lawsuits over their blockbuster blood thinner Xarelto for a total of $775 million, court documents on Monday showed.

The amount will be shared equally between the two companies that jointly developed the drug. Bayer and Johnson & Johnson do not admit liability under the agreement.

The settlement will resolve all pending lawsuits over Xarelto, which plaintiffs claimed causes uncontrollable and irreversible bleeding leading to severe injuries and even death among thousands of plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs accused the drugmakers of not warning about the bleeding risks, claiming their injuries could have been prevented had doctors and patients been provided adequate information.

Bayer in a statement on Monday said it continues to believe the claims are without merit. “However, this favorable settlement allows the company to avoid the distraction and significant cost of continued litigation,” the company said.

Johnson & Johnson in a statement said it continued to believe in the safety of Xarelto, but that the settlement was the right thing to do for patients and their doctors.

Xarelto is Bayer’s best-selling drug. It jointly developed Xarelto with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit, which sells the blood clot preventive under a licensing agreement in the United States.

— Reuters


China has $35 billion deal with Airbus

Airbus secured a $35 billion jet deal from China during a state visit by President Xi Jinping to Paris, dealing a fresh blow to Boeing as it grapples with the grounding of its best-selling jet.

The mammoth order consists of 290 A320 narrow-body planes and 10 A350 wide bodies, France-based Airbus said after the transaction was announced in Paris on Monday. The deal’s value is almost double that touted by French President Emmanuel Macron in 2018.

The Airbus coup comes while Boeing’s 737 Max — the chief global rival to the A320 — has been idled following two fatal crashes in five months. The U.S. aircraft manufacturer is also struggling with the fallout from a China-U.S. trade war.

China has become the world’s most important aviation market as the fast growth of its middle class spurs demand for travel.

— Bloomberg News

Also in Business

Hackers targeted "hundreds of thousands" of ASUSTeK computer owners by pushing a backdoor update software tool from the computer maker's servers, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said Monday. Kaspersky said the attack, which took place between June and November, is possibly affecting over a million users all over the world.

Viacom has renewed its contract with AT&T, avoiding a blackout of MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central for DirecTV users, the companies said Monday. Viacom needed to resolve the AT&T contract before considering any other strategic moves.

— From news services

Coming today

8:30 a.m.: The Commerce Department releases housing starts for February.