NEW YORK, July 6 – The proposed acquisition of Aurora Biosciences by Vertex Pharmaceuticals has cleared a significant hurdle with the deal being cleared by the United States Federal Trade Commission, the companies announced Friday.

The FTC granted clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The deal is still subject to approval by the companies’ shareholders at meetings scheduled for July 18.

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A fire at a Manchester hospital may have destroyed lab equipment and data, the Guardian reports.

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