Abbott to sell spine biz for $360M; ImClone wants new Erbitux use;

> Abbott Laboratories is selling its spine business to device maker Zimmer Holdings, which wants to expand its small business for treating spinal problems, for $360 million in cash. Report

> ImClone has asked the FDA to expand the use of its cancer drug Erbitux to include primary treatment of head and neck cancers; currently, the drug is approved for those cancers in patients who haven't responded to previous treatment. Report

> Roche got the FDA nod for its Cobas TaqMan HBV test, the first U.S. assay for gauging the viral load of hepatitis B. Report

> A dispute between a UK patient with multiple myeloma and his primary care trust, which denied coverage for the cancer drug Revlimid, is being debate in High Court this week. Report

> Troubled Oxford BioMedica has been roiled by several twists and turns in the last few days. Last week, newly named CEO Mike McDonald departed after only a month in the top job. That sent company shares down. And yesterday the stock slid again when GeneThera announced that it was no longer interested in bidding for the company. Report

> Bothell, WA-based Acucela has inked co-development deals for two of its eye therapies with Japan's Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. Report

> Waltham, MA-based Histogenics has landed $13.1 million in its second round. Report

> BIO--the biotech industry's trade organization--isn't supporting a particular candidate in this coming election. Why? Because no matter who wins, the industry can look forward to a level of support it hasn't experienced in the last eight years. Report

> A new study from Johns Hopkins Children's Center says that with close monitoring and some standard precautions even children with known vaccine allergies can be vaccinated safely. Report

> Shares of Cell Genesys got hit hard last week after the company announced that it was being forced to halt a late-stage trial of its cancer vaccine due. But not all the analysts were ready to write off the company's prospects. Cell Genesys report

> Concerns about a link between vaccines and autism are driving large numbers of parents to ignore recommended vaccinations for their children, and that is in turn raising fears of new outbreaks of measles and other diseases. Report

> Reports of chickenpox have drastically declined as a result of the national vaccination program implemented in the 1990s. Report

And Finally... Chemicals in marijuana may help fight MRSA, the super-bug form of staph bacteria. Report