Abbott chief eyes non-pharma deals; FDA stresses fainting warning on Gardasil;


> Abbott Laboratories chief Miles White said he maintains a "bias" toward building the non-pharmaceutical side of the company's business and is still interested in non-pharma acquisitions. Report

> The FDA strengthened warnings about fainting on Merck & Co.'s Gardasil vaccine after receiving reports of "traumatic injuries" among some vaccine recipients. Report

> Stada Arzneimittel is taking a closer look at acquisition targets it once regarded as too expensive as prices decline, Chairman Hartmut Retzlaff said in a speech to shareholders in Frankfurt. Report

> FDA is weighing possible action after results from a clinical trial suggested increased death in certain liver transplant patients switched to Wyeth's transplant drug Rapamune. Report

> The FDA approved Cumberland Pharmaceuticals' Caldolor, the first injectable dosage form of the common pain medication ibuprofen, to treat pain and fever. Release

> Generic competition, price erosion, and cost consciousness will shrink the asthma drug market to $10 billion by 2018, from $11.9 billion in 2008, a Decision Resources report says. Release

> A new ad agency hired to resuscitate GlaxoSmithKline's OTC weight loss drug Alli may end up presiding over the drug's demise, Pharma Marketing Blog reports. Report

> The first study of the antinausea drug metoclopramide in pregnant women has found that it is safe for both fetuses and mothers. Report

> Nearly two years after FDA issued a formal advisory urging parents not to give over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to infants younger than 2 years without a doctor's advice, a study finds many parents are still willing to give them to children as young as 13 months. Report

Biotech News

> Novartis has taken the lead position in the frenzied race for new vaccine to treat swine flu. Report

> Shares of Savient Pharmaceuticals barreled ahead more than 50 percent this morning after analysts had a chance to digest FDA staff remarks on the gout drug Krystexxa, which is up for a panel review next Tuesday. Savient report

> One of a new class of drugs being advanced by GTx delivered positive data in a mid-stage trial to combat muscle wasting in cancer patients--an unmet medical need with no currently approved therapeutics. GTx report

> Citing problems with the number of patients recruited for a mid-stage clinical trial of the cancer drug aflibercept along with the fragile health of the patients involved, Regeneron Therapeutics and Sanofi-Aventis say they will not be presenting data from the study for accelerated approval. Report

> In an article published yesterday, BusinessWeek casts Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella (photo) as a champion of science bucking the current trend of big mergers in favor of an ambitious investment in experimental drugs in a major piece exploring the drug giant's discovery model. Report

And Finally... Mobile devices, doctor review sites and blogs are changing the way millions of health consumers find and share find health information, according to a new survey released today by the Pew Research Center. Report