ALSO NOTED: Senate panel offers more FDA funding; Japan OKs Roche's Actemra, Abbott's Humira

> A bipartisan Senate panel agreed that the FDA is "seriously underfunded" and asked Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach for an estimate of how much more money the agency could use wisely in the coming fiscal year. Report

> Roche' Japanese partner, Chugai Pharmaceutical, got regulators' blessing to sell Actemra as a rheumatoid arthritis therapy in Japan; it's the first big approval for the potential blockbuster. Release

> Japan also cleared Abbott Laboratories' Humira to treat rheumatoid arthritis, the med's first approval in Japan. Release

> Abbott Laboratories reported a 34 percent increase in first-quarter earnings to $938 million on $6.77 billion in sales. Release

> U.K. pharma Shire plans to move its tax base to Ireland to take advantage of its 12.5 percent tax rate on global earnings, rather than Britain's 28 percent. Report

> The FDA gave the nod to GlaxoSmithKline's migraine pill Treximet, a modified version of the soon-to-go-off-patent Imitrex. Release

> Akorn won the FDA's blessing for its Ofoxacin Ophthalmic Solution, a generic anti-infective used to treat conjuncitivitis and other eye infections. Release

> About 26,000 patients are using Tysabri, the multiple sclerosis treatment sold by Elan and Biogen Idec, and the companies have received no reports of a brain infection that prompted the drug's temporary withdrawal in 2005. Report

> Roche snapped up the UK's Piramed today in a $175 million deal that includes a $15 million milestone payment--the latest in a series of new acquisitions. Report

> After a brief period as a high-flying stem cell company, CellCyte Genetics' share price has fallen back to earth, wiping out much of the $440 million market valuation achieved last fall and leaving it in "precarious" financial shape. Report

> NJ Biz examines Genta, which has gone into survival mode as it seeks a way to gain FDA approval of its lead cancer therapy, Genasense. Report

 

And Finally... A new advance in cloning could lead to designer babies. Report

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