Merck's sugammadex finally wins FDA panel backing; Novartis, Sanofi unveil new data at ACR; Weight-loss app no better than handouts, study finds; FDA tentatively OKs Collegium painkiller;

> Merck & Co.'s ($MRK) long-delayed anesthesia reversal agent, sugammadex, won a thumbs up from an FDA advisory panel Friday, with a final decision expected by Dec. 19. Report

> Novartis ($NVS), Sanofi ($SNY) and Regeneron ($REGN) were among the major drugmakers rolling out new data on their products and prospective products at the American College of Rheumatology meeting over the weekend. Release | Release | Release

> A weight-loss app was no better than a hard-copy pamphlet at helping obese young adults lose weight, Duke University researchers found in a study published in the journal Obesity. Report

> Collegium nabbed tentative FDA approval for its opioid painkiller Xtampza ER, but it can't launch till it resolves patent infringement suits with pain giant Purdue Pharma. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) lupus drug Benlysta hit its goals in a new Phase III study, which compared the treatment to standard of care; the data showed 60% of patients in the Benlysta arm saw reduced disease activity compared with 48% in the control arm. Release

And Finally... Pfizer's ($PFE) tax accounting methods make its U.S. rate appear larger--by 7 percentage points--than it would if the drugmaker reported foreign earnings as other big corporations do, the Wall Street Journal reports. Story (sub. req.)