BMS gets final approval of Plavix accord; Cumberland inks Korean Caldolor agreement;

> Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. won final court approval of a $125 million settlement of a lawsuit in which creditors claimed the drugmaker hid information about its effort to settle a patent suit with Apotex. Report

> Cumberland Pharmaceuticals today announced that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with DB Pharm Korea Co. Ltd., a Korean-based pharmaceutical company, for the commercialization of Caldolor (ibuprofen) injection in South Korea. Release

> Perrigo today announced that it has filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application for clobetasol propionate topical spray, 0.05 percent, a generic form of Clobex spray. Release

> Pfizer announced today results of a survey the company recently sponsored that shows physicians are more likely to report side effects through an electronic health records (EHR) system, as compared to traditional paper methods. Release

> The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has launched enhanced faculty profiles on its web site that now include the external professional and industry relationships for about 2,000 full- and part-time faculty members. The list includes physicians and basic research scientists. Release

> Medco Health Solutionstoday announced a collaboration that includes the State of Illinois, the Illinois Pharmacists Association (IPhA), the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Pharmacy and Mirixa Corporation to determine the effectiveness of training community pharmacies using an advanced networked safety system to identify medication-related issues and provide clinical interventions to improve patient health outcomes and lower costs. Release

> The Obama administration is trying to get the "emergency" out of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.  In an outline of a new direction for the global program started by President George W. Bush, the administration hopes to begin handing off day-to-day management of AIDS prevention and treatment programs to the 15 countries where $19 billion has been spent since 2004. The goal is to make the services a routine part of each nation's health offerings.  Report

Biotech News:

> A small, mid-stage trial of Sangamo BioSciences' muscle-strengthening therapy produced promising results for a third of the ALS patients enrolled, roughly doubling the historical rate of muscle improvement among untreated patients. Report

> The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has decided to drop a request for proposals for a next-gen recombinant protective antigen anthrax vaccine, saying the agency doesn't believe that developers can deliver one that could win FDA approval within eight years. The sudden shift pulled the rug out from underneath PharmAthene's stock (PIP); on Tuesday the biotech's share price plunged by 50 percent as investors got a chance to digest the implications of the news. Report

> New York-based Regeneron is blueprinting plans for a $40 million expansion of its facilities, paving the way for the developer to add 400 new jobs--primarily in research. One hundred of those positions will be in East Greenbush, while 300 hires are planned for its Westchester County complex. Report

> A late-stage trial of Repligen's RG1068--a pancreatic imaging agent--missed its primary endpoint, pushing the company's stock down 15 percent this morning. In spite of the results, the developer maintained that the failed trial offered new evidence of the agent's benefits for MRI imaging. Report

> KV Pharmaceutical has entered an employment agreement with interim president and CEO David Van Vliet, with a term through Dec. 31, 2011. Report

Manufacturing News

> Burkholderia cepacia, a common pathogen, is "a clear and present danger" in pharmaceutical manufacturing, says Lynn Torbeck, a statistics-minded pharmaceutical consultant currently working with the FDA on CDER's Drug Recall Root Cause Research Project. Report

> Attempting to halt a medication-shortage finger-pointing game, a U.K. trade group is urging government action. Some 40 "well known" drugs are "officially acknowledged" to be in short supply, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain says in an announcement. Article

> China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) is investigating quality concerns at a Simcere Pharmaceutical Group (NYSE: SCR) plant in Nanjing. Production operations were suspended by the drugmaker's subsidiary, Jiangsu Yanshen Biological Technology, at the end of November. Report

> When it comes to drugs, transport costs are a drop in the bucket compared with product value. Article

> A gas leak at a pharmaceutical plant in India has claimed two lives and sickened six others. The accident took place on Sunday at a Rinilife Science plant in Indore, reports CNN's Indian affiliate IBN Live. Report

And Finally...  A strategic player looks set to clinch Ratiopharm after a raft of private equity bidders dropped out of the race to bid for the German generic drugs maker, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday. Report