ALSO NOTED: Allergan to close Irish plant, lay off 300; FDA grants quick review to Velcade use;

> Allergan plans to shutter its manufacturing facility in Arklow, Ireland, by mid-2009, leaving 300 without jobs; the plant makes breast implants. Another Irish facility in County Mayo won't be affected; that plant makes the wrinkle-reducer Botox. Report

> The FDA will fast-track review of Millennium Pharmaceuticals' application to expand the use of its cancer med Velcade to newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. Release

> Too many similar drug names equals many more medical errors, some of them deadly, according to a new report from Pharmacopeia. Report

> Iroko Pharmaceuticals bought the non-U.S. rights to Merck's Aggrastat heart drug. Report

> Carl Icahn says that Biogen Idec essentially ran a sham when it put itself up for auction recently, putting in place barriers that warded off serious bidding by Big Pharma companies. Now he's made a bid to place three new directors on Biogen's board, and is hoping to gain control of the company. Report

> The rapid move toward offshoring drug trials has sparked controversies over the ethics involved in some of these studies. Report

> A team of scientists at the University of Buffalo have spun off a company to commercialize a new chemical synthesis that they say can far more efficiently create and manufacture new compounds. Report

> Is synthetic biotechnology the next big thing in drug R&D? Report

And Finally... Even as the demand for new antibiotics grows, new research programs to advance fresh therapies have been drying up fast. Report

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