Citigroup begins auction of Biofarma; Cephalon's Baldino won't be back in 2010 ;

@FiercePharma: Report: Abbott ($ABT) hired doc banned by hospital. Report | Follow @FiercePharma

> Citigroup's venture capital arm and two co-investors have begun an auction of Turkish copycat drugmaker Biofarma, three people familiar with the matter said, in what could be Turkey's biggest healthcare deal. Article

> Cephalon (Nasdaq: CEPH) has announced Frank Baldino, Jr., the company's chairman and CEO, will not be resuming his duties at the company in 2010. He will remain on a medical leave of absence indefinitely. Cephalon release

> Watson Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: WPI) and Natco Pharma have confirmed an exclusive, U.S. development and license agreement, to develop and commercialize lenalidomide 5-, 10-, 15- and 25-mg tablets.  The companies also confirmed that Natco has filed an ANDA with the FDA seeking approval to market its lenalidomide 5-, 10-, 15- and 25-mg product. Natco's lenalidomide tablets are generic versions of Celgene's Revlimid tablets. Watson release

> West Pharmaceutical Services (NYSE: WST), today announced its intention to consolidate selected operations in order to improve operating efficiencies. The Company expects to close its Montgomery, Pennsylvania, USA manufacturing facility and to downsize operations at its facility in St. Austell, Cornwall, U.K. West Pharmaceutical release

> Canonsburg-based generic drug giant Mylan on Tuesday announced that its subsidiary Matrix Laboratories has received tentative approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its new drug application for abacavir sulfate tabletes, a 60-milligram preparation used to treat children with HIV/AIDS. Story

> The Government Accountability Office has denied any failures in its January 2010 report about the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigation. This assertion comes after Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) demanded the GAO conduct an internal probe after being told by a whistleblower the report was compromised by a mole who tipped off OCI officials and the GAO failed to detect allegedly disturbing activities by the outgoing OCI director, Terry Vermillion. Article

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech:  Orexigen braces for advisory panel's Contrave review. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: The panel vote favoring Allergan's lap band and the trouble Orexigen faces on risk factors underscores basic distrust of drugs for obesity. Follow @JohnCFierce

> Seattle Genetics ($SGEN) delivers second round of stellar SGN-35 data. Item 

> Report: Sanofi resists two-prong approach to sweetened Genzyme bid. Story

Biotech Research News

> Couch potato mouse may lead to new obesity drug. Story

> MIT team tinkers with plants to produce therapeutics. Report

> The Scientist picks the top 10 tech products in life sciences. News

> Research offers hope for treatments to repair MS damage. Item

Manufacturing News

> Drug plant to specialize in halal compliance. Story

> Sanofi pharma-waste thief gets 15 years. News

> Senator seeks FDA fix to chemo drug shortage. Item

> Ranbaxy nears deal to clear ops violations. Article

> GE/G-Con aim for modular, mobile vax making. Report

> Hardball warning to Claris defines CMO role. News

And Finally... An aspirin a day keeps the cancer away. That's according to a ground-breaking new study published online yesterday in the journal The Lancet. The study, which followed more than 25,000 men and women for 20 years, found that following an aspirin regimen reduced the risk of cancer-related death by 20 percent. Report