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Shaping pharma: The industry’s top stories from 2016

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As the year comes to an end, Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, takes stock of the top 10 stories that shaped the pharmaceutical landscape and set the stage for 2017.

From the fight against Zika and rare diseases to failed deals and unexpected new players, the drug industry in 2016 has seen more than its fair share of ground-shifting news. The Zika outbreak prompted researchers to quickly develop diagnostic tests and vaccine candidates. The controversial approval of a drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy based on a clinical trial involving only 12 patients set off an emotional and philosophical debate over how to approve treatments for rare diseases. The proposed Pfizer-Allergan megamerger collapsed, but the companies then followed with a series of smaller deals. Tech multimillionaires got in on the drug discovery act by launching moonshot initiatives.

Last but hardly least, the year was capped by the unexpected election victory of Donald Trump. After the election, pharmaceutical stocks rose. But how a Trump presidency will affect the industry over the next four years — and potentially beyond — remains uncertain. With all the deals, controversies and a soon-to-come Trump Administration, industry watchers and patients can expect another interesting year ahead.

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The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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