Abbott offers concessions for Solvay deal OK; Europe wants to update Tysabri labeling;

> Abbott Laboratories offered concessions to the European Union in a bid to win approval for its 4.8 billion-euro ($6.8 billion) purchase of Solvay's drug unit after regulators had concerns about a diagnostic test. Report

> European regulators have identified 31 cases of a potentially deadly brain infection in patients taking Biogen Idec's multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri and recommended new measures for dealing with the risks of the drug. Report

> German drugmaker Merck KGaA is planning to set up a plant to make inorganic salts used in the production of pharmaceutical ingredients with an investment of around 30 million euros. Report

> Novartis wants to raise about $1 billion annually for 10 years to fund development of drugs against neglected illnesses including guinea-worm disease, malaria and tuberculosis that afflict more than 1 billion people. Report

> Indian drugmaker Glenmark Generics said its U.S. subsidiary got tentative approval from FDA for drugs used in the treatment of hypertension. Report

> The first planeload of medicines donated by U.K. drug companies has landed in Haiti, with emergency kits to treat as many as 20,000 people. Report

> Law enforcement officials and other groups in Mississippi are lobbying lawmakers to require a prescription to buy cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine--a key ingredient in methamphetamine--as the state's drug problem reaches unprecedented levels. Report

Biotech News

> No surprises here: 2009 venture capital investing down, but biotech shined in the fourth quarter. VC article

> Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma is cutting 35 jobs as it places a greater emphasis on biologics. Report

> Somaxon Pharmaceuticals said today that it has resubmitted data for its sleep drug Silenor to the FDA, making it the company's third go-around with the agency. Article

> European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a positive opinion for Arzerra, a treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Report

And Finally... Contract drug manufacturer Patheon is expanding its facility in France to bring to Europe manufacturing capabilities currently offered from North America. Report

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