Cosmeceutical makers angry at proposed tax; Witness: AZ study found no Seroquel link to diabetes;

> Botox maker Allergan and other makers of cosmeceutical drugs are balking at a proposed tax on cosmetic procedures that's part of the Senate's healthcare reform bill. Report

> An expert witness testified that an AstraZeneca study found "no significant" link between its antipsychotic drug Seroquel and the onset of diabetes. Report

> Merck KGaA's cancer drug Erbitux was again rejected outright by an influential European expert panel for use against lung cancer. Release

> GlaxoSmithKline asked Canadian provinces to temporarily stop using one lot of H1N1 flu vaccine due to a higher risk of adverse reactions. Report

> An FDA advisory panel backed a proposed efficacy claim for Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim's pulmonary disease treatment Spiriva HandiHaler. Release

> The Senate health reform bill would maintain the ban on price controls in the Medicare prescription drug benefit and establish a 12-year data exclusivity period for biologics. Report

Biotech News

> Roche announced positive results from a late-stage trial of Actemra for systemic onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (sJIA), a disease that causes intermittent fever, rash, and arthritis symptoms. The drug--a potential blockbuster--met its primary endpoint by significantly improving disease signs and symptoms. Report

> The FDA wants more time to review the NDA for Exalgo, a pain drug to be sold by Mallinckrodt, and has extended the Prescription Drug User Fee Act date three months to Feb. 22, 2010. The FDA's decision comes after more information was submitted to the NDA. Report

> In a 6 to 5 vote, the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee has determined that Connecticut-based Protein Sciences hasn't proven that its innovative flu vaccine FluBlok--which can be produced in less than two months by inserting flu genes into an insect virus and growing it in caterpillar ovary cells--is safe. Report

> Belgian drugmaker Movetis said today that it will seek up to €112.4 ($167 million) in an upcoming IPO. The gastroenterology company--which was founded in 2006 as a spin-off Johnson & Johnson units Janssen and Ortho-McNeil--recently won European approval of its chronic constipation treatment Resolor. Report

> Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley recently discussed the expansion of Emergent BioSolutions, a Maryland-based biopharmaceutical company, which will open a 60,000 square foot bioprocessing center in Each Baltimore to expand and increase production capacity on the groundbreaking vaccines that they produce.  The expansion is expected to result in up to 125 jobs over the next five years. Report

> Bayer HealthCare and Johnson & Johnson have good news to present about their blood-thinner Xarelto--a potential blockbuster that the FDA declined to approve months ago. Results from a long-term clinical trial showed taking Xarelto led to an 82 percent lower risk that a venous blood clot would form again compared with placebo, according to a Reuters article. Report

> ImmunoGen today announced its second licensing deal with Amgen in three months. The biotech giant gains rights to ImmunoGen's maytansinoid Targeted Antibody Payload (TAP) technology, which uses antibodies to deliver a cancer cell-killing agent, to develop anticancer therapeutics to an undisclosed target. Report

And Finally... Sanofi-Aventis unveiled a new iPhone app designed to help diabetes patients eat healthily. Report