CTI selects Xybion preclinical products; Marken ships direct to S. Korea clinical patients as MERS hits;

> China's CTI Biotechnology has selected Xybion's Pristima 7 preclinical suite of products to support its expansion efforts in conducting GLP studies. Release

> South Korea approved U.S.-based clinical trial logistics firm Marken is to ship clinical drug products directly to patients so the trials would not be compromised during the outbreak of Middle East respiratory system (MERS) following recent emergency partial closures of some medical centers. Release

> Australia's Sigma Pharmaceuticals said an ASIC investigation into conduct in accounting for four financial transactions between June 2009 and March 2010 were settled without charges against the firm after Elmo De Alwis, former managing director and CEO, and Mark Smith, former CFO, pleaded guilty to charges relating to falsifying company books. Release (PDF)

> India's Aurobindo Pharma said CEO Arvind Vasudeva has resigned from the company effective June 30 to pursue his professional interests. Report

> Japan's Taisho and Belgium's Ablynx signed a license deal on once-sidelined anti-TNF alpha nanobody ozoralizumab for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, which includes an upfront payment of $3 million and undisclosed milestones and royalties based sales with the Japanese firm funding all local development, registration and commercialization activities. Release (PDF)

> India's Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has secured U.S. FDA approval for a generic of Merck-Schering Plough's Zetia (ezetimibe), which had $1.8 billion in sales last year and may generate as much as $240 million in cash flows during the 134-day exclusivity period. Report

> Japan's Daiichi Sankyo said its once-daily blood thinner Lixiana was approved for use across the European Union for stroke prophylaxis and to prevent and treat certain blood clots. Release

> A study has found that India's drug industry faces a sharp manpower shortage and lack of infrastructure with experts seeing slow progress for needed improvements. Report

> Singapore-based researchers have developed a hydrogel that can deliver drugs with long-term efficacy, aiding patients with chronic diseases such as hepatitis C, said the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology of A*STAR. Report