Boehringer, Barr settle patent fight; PhRMA sinks $5M into lobbying;

> Boehringer Ingelheim and Barr Laboratories settled their patent disputes over Mirapex and Aggrenox with a deal that allows Barr to launch generic versions of those drugs 10 to 18 months before the patents expire and charges a Barr subsidiary with handling Aggrenox marketing. Release

> The pharmaceutical industry's main trade group, PhRMA, spent more than $5 million lobbying the federal government in the second quarter, according to a recent disclosure form. Report

> Nello Martini, director of Italy's scandal-hit medicines agency, Aifa, has been sacked; the firing comes after police found evidence that money had changed hands in return for falsification of clinical data needed for drug approvals. Report

> Prices for some Indian bulk drugs, such as Erythromicin and Ciprofloxacin, have fallen up to one-half on expectations that China will reopen factories shuttered for months in advance of the Olympics. Report

> South Africa's Health Department has withdrawn two widely-dispensed tuberculosis drug combination batches supplied by Pharmascript after preliminary investigations revealed the drugs became unstable under long-term storage. Report

> Biotech companies majority-owned by venture groups would once again have a shot at some $2 billion in Small Business Innovation Research awards under compromise legislation advanced in the U.S. Senate. Report

> Knome, the brainchild of renowned Harvard geneticist George Church, is reportedly on track to sequence the genomes of 20 people this year. Report

> After riding high on the news of positive data from a recent Phase IIb trial, shares of Cardiome Pharma swiftly sank 30 percent after investors heard that the FDA's "approvable" letter for Kynapid (vernakalant)--co-developed with Astellas--included a request for more information on the drug's impact on a subset of patients in trials and a safety update on users. Report

> SurModics says that Merck informed the company that results reported in a recently published study comparing laser treatment and intravitreal injections of triamcinolone acetonide in patients with diabetic macular edema prompted Merck to reevaluate the design of its Phase IIb clinical trial for I-vation TA. Report

> Life science VC firm InterWest Partners has closed a $650 million fund. Report

> Australian scientists, who have been studying a key protein that controls the spread of blood cancer cells when it is damaged, are now designing a drug they say can stop the cancer--along with asthma and other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Report

> For the first time, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have been able to prevent the age-related decline of the liver--a process that could have significant implications for preventing a host of age-related ailments like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Report

And Finally... Running on a regular basis can slow the effects of aging, a new study shows. Report