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Business news in brief

In the Region

RBS cleanup continues

Royal Bank of Scotland, the parent company of Citizens Bank, predicted Friday that the British government should be able to start selling its stake within a year as it reported a first-quarter profit of $611 million, up from a loss of $2.34 billion a year earlier. CEO Stephen Hester said cleanup of the troubled bank, which is 81 percent owned by British taxpayers after it was rescued by the government in 2008, would be largely complete by the middle of 2014. That means RBS could be privatized and look "much more like a normal bank," it said. The timing of the sale, however, remains up to the government. - Associated Press

J&J's South Korea recall

Johnson & Johnson said its South Korea unit recalled some Children's Tylenol after discovering that bottles contained too much of the medicine. The company withdrew Children's Dye-Free Tylenol Suspension-Cherry Flavor in 100 mg and 500 mg bottles, said J&J spokeswoman Samantha Lucas. Some bottles were found during quality-control tests to have too much acetaminophen, the active ingredient, she said. J&J and its McNeil Consumer Healthcare division have faced production issues since 2010, including a U.S. recall of over-the-counter medicines such as Children's Tylenol. The company's plant in Fort Washington remains closed. - Bloomberg News


Big Pharma collaborates

Drugmakers Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Boehringer Ingelheim, AbbVie and Takeda Pharmaceutical are each contributing $8 million to the new Target Discovery Institute at the University of Oxford, which plans to identify better possibilities for drug development. Once targets are validated, pharmaceutical companies can compete to develop medicines that manipulate those targets. - Bloomberg News