AZ gets new indications for Seroquel; J&J spends millions on Ortho Evra suits;

> AstraZeneca's Seroquel got the FDA nod as a treatment for bipolar depression and bipolar mania; the antipsychotic already was approved to treat schizophrenia. AstraZeneca release

> Johnson & Johnson has spent at least $68.7 million to settle hundreds of lawsuits filed by women who suffered blood clots, heart attacks or strokes after using the company’s Ortho Evra birth-control patch. Report

> According to a new Datamonitor report, cash-rich drugmakers are poised to take advantage of the credit crunch, in part because they didn't overdose on the cheap debt that has trapped so many companies now that credit has dried up. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline plans to build a new production line in India to produce 300 million tablets of an antiparasitic drug annually. Report

> India's Wockhardt inked a 10-year licensing deal with Sinclair Pharma covering a range of patented dermatological and dental products. Wockhardt release

> Osmotica Pharmaceutical launched its version of the antidepressant Effexor via its marketing partner Upstate Pharma. Report

> Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella promises Alcon's hometown of Fort Worth that the company wouldn't lose its name or commitment to local arts and community as it moves to new ownership. Report

> People with kidney cancer, regardless of age, seem to benefit from and tolerate therapy with Bayer's Nexavar (sorafenib) equally well, a new study says. Report

> The Hartford Courant takes a close look at Boehringer Ingelheim's R&D work underway in Connecticut. The company currently has 1,300 staffers working in the state, and it plans to open a new building and hire even more in 2009. Boehringer report

> Biogen Idec said it won't continue developing baminercept for rheumatoid arthritis after the drug failed to hit the primary or secondary endpoints in a Phase II trial. Report

> San Diego-based Nventa Biopharmaceuticals is whacking eight of its 13 staffers as it ratchets back its expenses and stays focused on advancing its lead therapies. The developer says that it will look for M&A opportunities to help bolster its finances. Nventa report

> The Novartis asthma treatment Xolair significantly reduced moderate-to-severe persistent attacks in children aged 6 to 11, according to a new study. Report

> One of the big questions posed by the development of new genetic tests is how people will react when they learn more about their risk of disease. The Scripps Translational Science Institute will try and determine if the data will persuade people to live healthier lives, spur anxiety or lead to the inappropriate use of healthcare services. Report

> Boston Scientific said a major sell-off of its stock was due to involuntary selling by its co-founders, and did not reflect on the company's performance. Boston Scientific release

> Watson Pharmaceuticals scored a victory in its effort to branch out of its generic drug business and launch new branded therapies with yesterday's approval to market Rapaflo. Watson report

And Finally... It may be our own fault that politicians get away with lying to us. Report