AZ scores a top spot in best-employer ranking; Valeant says it's still unclear when CEO Pearson might return;

@FiercePharma: U.S.-based Certara creates drug developing consultancy in China. FiercePharmaAsia story | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: J&J will boost workforce at South Africa consumer meds plant after $18M upgrade. More from FiercePharmaManufacturing | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: head Slaoui says the company's vax and businesses need each other--aka, no break-up, please. Article | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> AstraZeneca ($AZN) ranked as the U.K.'s second-best employer in a study by Bloomberg, behind Jaguar Land Rover and way ahead of rival GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), which came in 50th. Report

> It's still unclear when Valeant ($VRX) CEO J. Michael Pearson will return to the company, interim chief Howard Schiller told investors Wednesday. Report

> Justices on Delaware's Supreme Court are weighing an appeal by AbbVie ($ABBV) investors who want access to documents related to the company's failed $55 billion bid for Shire ($SHPG). Report

> AstraZeneca aims to roll out more of its branded rugs in India, with cancer, lung disease and diabetes the first areas of focus. Report

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: Medical device sales reps scouting out new jobs in 2016: Report. More | Follow @FierceMedDev

@EmilyWFierce: Olympus, FDA implicated in Senate probe of duodenoscope devices. Report | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Hospira pump business nears chopping block as Pfizer mulls potential sale: Bloomberg. More

> FDA makes increasing use of 'real-world' device data a strategic priority. Report

> JPM: Boston Sci updates on Watchman reimbursement, Synergy launch. Article

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Biden maps out a 'moonshot' approach to cancer with plans to 'break down silos' in R&D. More | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: FDA slaps down BioMarin's Duchenne's drug as rival nears a moment of truth. News | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: "I made a point to talk to female guests," he said. More from Bloomberg | Follow @DamianFierce

> Celgene chief Bob Hugin ponders a new era for neurodegeneration R&D. Report

> Pfizer looks to cut the line in CAR-T with off-the-shelf approach. Article

> Biotech has a problem with women? Or is it the other way around? More

Pharma Manufacturing News

> U.K.'s Oxford BioMedica gets MHRA nod for new manufacturing facility. Item

> GSK turns to K+N for supplier logistics. News

> FDA finds issues with Walgreens' infusion compounding services. Report

> EMA says Spain has taken action against drugmaker for shortcomings. Story

> Bayer opens large China plant for traditional Chinese and Western OTC meds. Article

CRO News

> Evotec hits an R&D milestone with J&J in an ambitious Alzheimer's collaboration. News

> Eurofins buys Dutch drug-testing firm to pad its services. More

> AMRI signs a trio of deals in R&D, manufacturing and marketing. Report

> Catalent inks a $619M deal to help Roche develop targeted therapies. Article

Pharma Asia News

> China-focused CASI Pharmaceuticals gets Marqbio review by CFDA. Item

> China continues to find problems in drug production. Article

> In Japan, fast approvals, more R&D cash and price cuts ahead. Report

> Astellas, Medivation report successful enzalutamide mCRPC PhII data in Lancet. More

> Cipla says top 50 drugs in development could bring in $30B. Story

And Finally... Statins may help patients recover after bypass surgery, a study review found. Report