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The BFD: Royalty Pharma has agreed to acquire the royalty stream of multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri from Perrigo (NYSE: PRGO) in a deal that could be valued at upwards of $2.85 billion. The transaction includes $2.2 billion in cash at closing (expected in 30 days) and up to $650 million in potential milestone payments based on Tysabri sales in 2018 and 2020.

Why it's the BFD: This is all about activist investor Starboard Value, which already had forced Perrigo to replace five of its directors and to lay off around 750 employees. Now it's effectively forced the Irish company to dump the upside from one of its top prescription products, which it had acquired via the 2013 purchase of Elan Corp. And more asset sales could be coming.

Bottom line: "Starboard, fresh off victory at Yahoo Inc., argued Perrigo management has been distracted by the merger fight and attempts to diversify away from its over-the-counter drugs business, a powerhouse in private-label medicines including versions of headache remedy Tylenol, heartburn aid Pepcid and allergy pill Claritin." ― Anne Steele

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

3 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.