Brazil nixes Gilead patent on Viread; U.K.'s Meldex to replace CEO;

> We all know that one of the most valuable resources in the clinical research industry is experienced staff. Yet it is commonly accepted that a clinical monitor will only stay with a company for about three years. So what can companies do to attract and retain senior staff that will stay with the company and provide their expertise to ongoing and upcoming trials? Article

> Brazil rejected Gilead Sciences' application for a patent on its AIDS drug Viread (tenofovir), as the country's health ministry deemed the drug "in the public interest" and said patenting it would interfere with Brazil's successful free HIV treatment plan. Report

> Specialty pharma and healthcare company Meldex International said chief executive Richard Trevillion is leaving the company with immediate effect; Jim Murray will be his interim replacement. Report

> Zydus Cadila got the FDA nod to sell its version of the high blood pressure med Ramipril, marketed by Wyeth under the brand name Altace and by Sanofi-Aventis as Tritace. Report

> Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical appointed Erich Brunn as its CEO of Takeda Pharmaceuticals Europe, its subsidiary that oversees European sales and marketing. Report

> Wyeth announced the appointment of Daniel J. McIntyre, 54, as vice president for corporate communications; previously, he was managing director of Fleishman-Hillard's healthcare group. Report

> Dechra Pharmaceuticals, the veterinary products maker, will be marketing its best-selling dog medicine in the US next year, building on its recent expansion into Europe. Report

> Belgian pharmaceutical group UCB said on Wednesday that the European Commission has approved its new epilepsy drug Vimpat. Report

> WellSpring Pharmaceutical wrapped up its acquisition of several over-the-counter brands from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, including the antifungal med Micatin, antinausea drug Emetrol, and anatacid Gelusil. Report

Biotech News

> The controversial HPV vaccine has been making only slow progress in the U.S. Despite the fact that half of all girls are exposed to the virus--and 4,000 die each year from the cancer that it triggers--only about twenty percent of the target population has been vaccinated. Report

> Anesiva is axing its preclinical development program and reducing its head count by 20 percent. Report

> The experimental heart drug Multaq, being developed by Sanofi-Aventis, reduced the risk of stroke by a third among elderly patients suffering from atrial fibrillation. Report

> Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is reporting a success in the mid-stage trial of its gout drug Arcalyst. Report

> Medivation investors were treated to a 31 percent spike in their stock value after news broke this morning of a big licensing deal with Pfizer. Report

And Finally... Brain scans show that a serotonin transporter--involved in regulating the mood-altering neurotransmitter serotonin--acts differently season by season, potentially explaining seasonal affective disorder. Report