AZ fights expert witness in Seroquel suit; Will Astellas try to outbid Gilead for CV?;

> Attorneys for AstraZeneca asked a Delaware judge to throw out testimony in a lawsuit over its antipsychotic medication Seroquel, arguing that an expert witness failed to link a plaintiff's diabetes with her use of the drug. Report

> Analysts disagree on whether Astellas Pharma would come back with a higher bid for CV Therapeutics or abandon its hostile offer, after U.S. rival Gilead Sciences said it inked a deal to acquire the target for about $1.4 billion. Report

> Investment bankers at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley may split as much as $146 million advising on Merck's $41.1 billion purchase of Schering- Plough. Report

> J.P. Morgan downgraded Genentech stock from overweight to neutral early Friday, citing the company's recent acceptance of a $95-a-share takeover offer from majority shareholder Roche. Report

> Drugmaker Mylan won tentative U.S. approval for a generic, heat-resistant version of the Abbott Laboratories HIV drug Kaletra. Report

> Dr. Reddy's Laboratories said a court has ruled its generic version of the heartburn drug Prilosec does not infringe on patents held by AstraZeneca. Report

> Actavis launched its version of Eli Lilly's Gemzar cancer treatment in Europe; the copycat is Actavis' first major oncology product. Release

> Covance is expanding its clinical pharmacology footprint in Europe with the acquisition of Swiss Pharma Contract, a 50-bed clinical research company based in Basel, Switzerland. Release

> The International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking (IADD) has produced a Braille standard for pharmaceutical packaging in North America that will be published at the 2009 IADDFSEA Odyssey show in May. Report

> San Diego-based Sangart has raised $50 million from its Series F. The money comes from the exercise of warrants issued in 2007 and it brings the total amount of cash raised in the investment round to $100 million. Report

> Two months after slashing 42 percent of its work force--144 jobs--Berkeley-CA-based Xoma has been slapped with a going-concern warning by its accounting firm. The antibody developer says that a decline in royalty income from Raptiva--which was used to secure a hefty loan from Goldman Sachs--helped trigger the warning. Report

> Sanofi-Aventis CEO Chris Viehbacher journeyed to Mexico to announce a new $126 million facility to produce seasonal influenza vaccine-with a built-in option to switch to pandemic vaccines--for the Latin American market. Report

> An experimental smallpox vaccine has demonstrated promising results in a new trial completed in Japan. And the researchers note that the new vaccine appears to work without the kind of adverse risks presented by first-generation vaccines. Report

And Finally... European heart patients are popping plenty of pills to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, but they're also eating too much and smoking, undermining their drug therapy. Report

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