Alcon to buy Swiss biotech for up to $589M; Glaxo fights to halt Alli sales decline;

> Eye care company Alcon agreed to buy the Swiss biotech ESBATech for $150 million up front and up to $439 million in additional milestone payments. Article

> GlaxoSmithKline is scrambling to shore up the safety image of its weight loss pill Alli after watching sales dive on news that the FDA is investigating the drug. Article

> Germany's cost-effectiveness watchdog Iqwig said blockbuster Alzheimer's disease drug memantine, known as Axura or Akatinol in Germany and Namenda in the U.S., should no longer be reimbursed by health insurers. Article

> Glenmark Pharmaceuticals plans to establish a manufacturing facility in Buenos Aires to produce cancer drugs for the global market. Article

> Under the terms of Pfizer's $2.3 billion marketing settlement with the feds, the company's compliance overseer will no longer be its general counsel, but a specialized officer Articleing directly to the CEO. Article

> Astellas Pharma and Theravance won the FDA nod for their key antibiotic drug televancin and say they plan to launch later this year. Article

> Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane is in line for a tax abatement worth $16.5 million over 15 years for a planned expansion of its pharmaceutical complex in Columbus, Ohio. Article

Biotech News

> Genzyme's manufacturing woes are handing Shire a golden opportunity to cash in on its new therapy for Gaucher's disease. Article

> Shares of Discovery Laboratories got a much needed boost after the developer announced plans for a sit-down with FDA regulators over the possibility that a limited trial could supply the agency with the data it would need to overcome its remaining primary concern regarding its respiratory drug surfaxin. Article

> Cambridge-based Intercytex, which in May was rumored to be in discussions with Pfizer regarding a buyout, has had its shares suspended. Article

> Researchers for Merck KGaA say that new analysis of the late-stage data for their oral drug cladribine highlight the drug's potential as a new therapy for multiple sclerosis. Article

Biotech IT News

> Virtify has unveiled a software-as-a-service solution for managing clinical trial disclosure requirements. The Virtx CTRR Clinical Trial Registry & Results solution automates compliance with global regulatory mandates, according to an announcement. Article

> The European Bioinformatics Institute recently got a big data storage boost--$16.6 million worth--from the British Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Article

> An attempt to simplify complex discovery software has gone beyond simplification to researcher social networking. Article

And Finally... Fifty percent of pharma executives say their supply chains aren't robust enough for quick response to pandemics and other emergencies. Article