Cardinal Health spin-off; Abbott, AstraZeneca expand partnership; much more

> Analysts are predicting that Cardinal Health will spin off its distribution and manufacturing divisions within the next two years, a decision the company plans to disclose before it releases its earnings report in October. Report

> Abbott and AstraZeneca announced that they will expand their relationship to promote AstraZeneca's once-daily cholesterol drug Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium), providing Abbott with non-exclusive rights to promote the drug with AstraZeneca in the United States. Release

> A 38-company Global Generic Drug Index looks at buyout bids, benchmark funds, small/mid caps and impending patent expirations for multi-billion dollar brand name drugs. Report

> Wall Street has been unkind to pharma giants in the last few months, but some say pharma is increasing efficiencies and that ultimately, the economics of the industry make investing at least worthy of consideration. Report

> The chair of UK’s health care overseer, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, says that pharma companies are overpricing medications, and that the problem is that marketing costs and CEO salaries are too high. Report

> Biotech company Cubist has seen nice sales of its antibiotic Cubicin since FDA approval of the medication in 2003, but is having a tough time selling its medication, which mainly treats skin infections, elsewhere in the world. Report

> It may be an early-stage study, but Micromet's antibody drug blinatumomab is showing promise for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients. Report

> Accelerator Corporation is at it again. The Seattle-based biotech investment and development firm has formed the Mirina Corporation, which will focus on developing drugs using Minor Groove Binder technology to affect cellular processes involving microRNAs. Report

> AstraZeneca has forged a new partnership with the National Cancer Centre Singapore and the National University Hospital to develop anti-cancer compounds. Report

> Oxford BioMedica's stock got a major boost today on news that U.S.-based GeneThera made a takeover bid for the company. However, Oxford quickly rejected the offer, saying that GeneThera was not a credible bidder. Report

> Further bolstering its ambitious vaccine program, Pfizer has teamed up with Cytos Biotechnology to develop, manufacture and commercialize vaccines for a defined number of human diseases. Report

And Finally… Some say FDA had its head in a bottle when it declared bisphenol A-–a chemical in a type of polycarbonate plastic in some baby bottles, water bottles and other food linings--safe, since dozens of reports by the National Institutes of Health say otherwise. Report.

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