ZURICH/BERLIN, Nov 5 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.3 percent lower at 8,969 points on Monday, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer .
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The Swiss drugmaker is due to give an update about its current R&D activities, including expectations that its SMA gene therapy will win approval in the first six months of 2019.
Separately, it said on Friday that its Sandoz division is abandoning an effort to gain U.S. regulatory approval for a biosimilar of rituximab, a medication used to treat certain cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
Chief Executive Severin Schwan said new drugs the pharma company is developing will replace the roughly 10 billion Swiss francs ($9.97 billion) lost from old cancer drugs, the executive told Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag.
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The company has rebuffed an offer from Schroders Plc to sell its Systematic division, which handles the Swiss money manager's Cantab quantitative hedge fund unit, the FT reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.
* Dufry said Andrés Holzer Neumann will temporarily renounce his additional functions of Vice-chairman of the board and Chairman of the Nomination Committee on the Board of Directors due to health reasons.
The company reported on Monday nine month EBIT up 12.4 pct at 328.2 million francs.
* Aryzta said its prospectus related to its 780 million euro capital hike has been published.
* Online pharmacy zur Rose Group said it opened its third shop-in-shop pharmacy in the newly renovated Migros headquarters.
No economic data scheduled. (Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk)