Biogen to update PML info weekly; MannKind wraps up Pfizer insulin buy;

> Biogen Idec said a ninth Tysabri patient developed a potentially deadly PML infection, and it plans to update PML numbers weekly. Report

> MannKind completed the previously announced buyout of a quantity of bulk insulin and a license to make bulk insulin from Pfizer for $3 million. Report

> Belgium's Solvay missed out on a Dutch government contract to supply the Netherlands with an H1N1 flu virus vaccine because it could not supply the product within the required time frame. Report

> The dollar value of drugs exported from Israel in the first quarter of 2009 amounted to $1.1 billion, 23 percent higher than the same period last year. Report

> A new Internet data map offers a first-of-its-kind, county-level look at HIV cases in the U.S. and finds the infection rates tend to be highest in the South. Report

> The hepatitis C virus drug market will expand dramatically to $7.7 billion in 2013 from $2 billion in 2008, but growth thereafter will decrease because of a decline in disease prevalence and the efficacy of new treatments. Release

Biotech News

> Transcend Medical has raised $35 million in a Series B designed to fund development of its Transcend CyPass System for glaucoma. Report

> Shares of Medarex shot up 17 percent after investigators at the Mayo Clinic say they were startled by the level of success seen in a trial of a monoclonal antibody for prostate cancer. Report

> Looking back to when he got the top job at GlaxoSmithKline a little more than a year ago, Andrew Witty says that morale was terrible in the pharma giant's troubled, unproductive R&D department. But it's all just fine now, says the CEO. Report

> NeurogesX has snared $49 million upfront for a pair of licensing deals with Astellas. The developer gets $42 million of that for regional marketing rights to its pain patch Qutenza, which is approved in Europe and still waiting for final word from the FDA. Report

> Seattle-based Targeted Genetics is hunkering down into survival mode as it works through an 11th-hour effort to save the company. The developer is cutting its workforce from 35 down to 10 to 15, renegotiating a lease in Bothell, WA and doing everything it can to conserve cash as it seeks out new revenue. Report

Research News

> Starting from the premise that all drugs used to treat brain ailments clumsily flood the entire system with therapeutics, researchers say that fiber optics can help pinpoint the exact regions of the brain that need to be targeted when treating Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, epilepsy and other such ailments. Report

> A missing stretch of DNA may provide a key clue to determining why some children are threatened with neuroblastoma. And the new research also highlights how genetic deletions or malfunctioning repetitions can trigger disease--as opposed to single-letter variations that have attracted much of the attention to date. Report

> Drugs can stop HIV from progressing, but until now researchers have been stumped in their efforts to eradicate the deadly virus. Report

> With every antibiotic fated to become obsolescent, researchers are always working to find a new generation of antibacterials. And with the spread of drug-resistant infections on the rise, the work has never been more urgent. Report

> A process called antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity prevents monoclonal antibodies from binding to all patients with the same specificity. And a start-up developer called PIKAMAB believes it has a new approach that can overcome that hurdle. Report

And Finally... Yesterday the WHO reported a big jump in H1N1 cases since Friday. How many people the virus will sicken and kill depends on three things, John M. Barry writes. Report