Spotlight On... Shire finally gets Baxalta to the deal-talks table; NICE backs Novartis' Entresto in some heart failure patients; Sanofi's Praluent wins top billing on UnitedHealth formulary; and more...

Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov

Shire ($SHPG) is reportedly one step closer to achieving its dream of nabbing Baxalta ($BXLT) to become a global rare-disease leader. The two companies are in takeover talks, Bloomberg reported Friday, with the Illinois pharma looking for a sweetened bid with a cash component. The way Shire sees it, a combined company could generate $20 billion in sales by 2020, with as many as 30 new drugs rolling out over the next 5 years, CEO Flemming Ornskov has said. More from FiercePharma

> The U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended NHS use of Novartis' ($NVS) Entresto for a subset of heart failure patients whose hearts are particularly poor at pumping blood. Release

> U.K. cost watchdogs have also endorsed prostate cancer med Xtandi from Astellas in pre-chemo patients, but they denied Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) rival med, Zytiga, in the same population. Story

> Sanofi ($SNY) and Regeneron's ($REGN) Praluent will be UnitedHealth Group's ($UNH) preferred PCSK9 drug for treating superhigh LDL cholesterol. Story

> Novo Nordisk ($NVO) has submitted an NDA to the FDA for faster-acting insulin aspart. Report

> Horizon Pharma ($HZNP) has agreed to buy Crealta Holdings for $510 million in cash, gaining access to gout drug Krystexxa. More

> Alnylam ($ALNY) is planning final trials for ALN-CC5--a paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria candidate that would compete with Alexion's ($ALXN) pricey Soliris--for 2017. Report

And Finally... Dog owners are wondering whether to vaccinate their dogs against canine influenza virus H3N. More (sub. req.)

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