Bayer trial supports wider Qlaira use; Schering to plow $30M into Canadian plant;

> Bayer's new birth control pill Qlaira was shown to reduce excessive menstrual bleeding in a late-stage drug trial, the company said, underpinning its plan to widen the use of the pill in Europe. Report

> Schering-Plough Canada announced it will invest more than $30 million in an expansion of its production plant in Pointe-Claire, Québec. Report

> A common asthma reliever drug may increase the risk of asthma attacks in some sufferers, British scientists said. Report

> Dr Reddy's Laboratories launched two skin-care products, Strea C10 and Strea A15, in India. Report

> A new study reports that babies born to mothers who use SSRI antidepressants are more likely to have low Apgar scores and more likely to be admitted into neonatal intensive care. Report

> Shire Pharmaceutical was cut to neutral from buy at UBS, which said there is only limited upside to current share prices. Report

Biotech News

> Shares of SurModics surged 21 percent this morning after the drug delivery company announced it had scored a $200 million licensing deal with Roche and Genentech. Report

> Canada's YM BioSciences (YMI) is taking over Australia's Cytopia (CYTX), combining their cancer drug programs into a single pipeline in a $14 million merger deal. Report

> An expert panel gathered by the FDA has endorsed GlaxoSmithKline's new kidney cancer therapy, pazopanib. Report

ReResearch News

> Researchers at the University of South Florida say that lab experiments have shown that a cheap, commonly used antibiotic could revolutionize stroke treatment. Report

> Using select antibodies to "super charge" the human immune system has proven an effective treatment of a virulent form of childhood cancer in lab tests, says a group of British scientists. Item

> The New York Times profiles Francis Collins (photo), the new head of the National Institutes of Health, in today's issue. Report

> IBM is joining the genomic revolution. And the computing giant is already talking about taking the race to cut the cost of sequencing a genome--now focused on the $1,000 mark--to a whole new level as it leapfrogs into a leading position. Report

> Promising thousands of new jobs, President Obama announced last week $5 billion in biomedical funding. The funds are being doled out under the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. More than 12,000 grants will be handed out over the next two years. Article

And Finally ... Expectant mothers who eschew asthma treatment during pregnancy heighten the risk transmitting the condition to their offspring. Release