The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. - Meta Platforms said it has started fully encrypting messages on Facebook by default, and will automatically start shifting Facebook users to so-called end-to-end encryption for their messages on that platform and its connected Messenger app. - BHP Group has appointed Vandita Pant as its new chief financial officer, as part of a reshuffle of its top executives from March 2024.
Trading in the options of Cerevel Therapeutics Holdings Inc experienced an unusual surge along with its stock price in the days before Wednesday's announcement that AbbVie would buy the drug developer in a multi-billion dollar deal. AbbVie said after the market close on Wednesday it would buy Cerevel for about $8.7 billion in a bid to replace revenue as its huge-selling arthritis drug Humira faces a raft of new competitors. AbbVie's offer was priced at $45 a share.
It marks the second large deal for AbbVie in the past week, coming days after it agreed to buy cancer drug developer ImmunoGen for $10.1 billion in cash, highlighting its appetite to place big bets on promising new medicines. It is paying $45 per share in cash for Cerevel, which is developing drugs for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, psychosis, epilepsy, and panic disorder. Its experimental drug emraclidine is in midstage trials as a treatment for schizophrenia that will yield data the company hopes can be used to seek regulatory approval.