Chinese partners to sell stake in Shanghai Schering-Plough; Elan mulls spin-off of contract manufacturing unit; and much more

> Two Chinese minority owners want to sell their 45 percent stake in the Shanghai Schering-Plough joint venture for some $9.6 million; Schering-Plough will have right of first refusal to those shares. Report

> Irish drugmaker Elan is considering a spin-off of its contract services unit, Elan Drug Technology, executives said at its recent annual general meeting. Report

> At least 30 people have been killed in a series of blasts and a fire that engulfed a pharmaceutical plant in central Iran. Report

> The State of Vermont doesn't like the fact that a new doctor-disclosure bill in the Senate would pre-empt its own, more stringent law requiring drugmakers to divulge payments to physicians. Report

> Morgan Stanley downgraded GlaxoSmithKline to "underweight" on fears that the HPV virus vaccine Cervarix might not be approved in the U.S. by 2009 as expected. Report

> AstraZeneca has sold a portfolio of 16 prescription drugs to biotech group BioPhausia for 535 million Swedish crowns, or about $90 million. Report

> Elderly people with dementia who are given antipsychotics, even for a very short period of time, are more likely to end up in the hospital or even die, new research shows. Report

> Aurobindo Pharma got FDA approval for its version of the blood pressure drug Benazepril HCl. Report

And Finally... A new "drug" called Obecalp is about to hit the children's medication market--only it's not a drug at all. (Hint: read the name backward.) Report

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