Court denies overtime for GSK sales reps; Swiss fine Pfizer, Lilly and Bayer on ED price-fixing;

> In yet another twist in the ongoing battle over whether sales reps should be paid overtime, a federal court in Arizona recently ruled that two Glaxo reps are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Report

> The Swiss branches of Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Bayer were fined a total of 5.7 million francs ($5.7 million) by competition regulators for alleged price fixing of drugs for erectile dysfunction. Report

> Pharmaceutical policy in the new European Commission will no longer be the responsibility of Enterprise and Industry's director general, but will move to the Health and Consumer Policy directorate. Report

> Depomed sued India's Lupin in U.S. federal court alleging that the generics maker's version of the diabetes drug Glumetza infringes its patents. Report

> Medicines Co. was cleared to market in Europe Angiox as an anticoagulant in patients who have so-called Stemi heart attacks and are undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention. Report

> Eisai will launch a new oral-jelly formulation of its Alzheimer's disease drug Aricept in Japan. Report

Biotech News

> Pfizer is plunking down $60 million upfront and promising up to $55 million in milestones to license the worldwide rights to Protalix's drug for Gaucher disease--a move the puts the global pharma company in head-to-head competition with Genzyme as the big biotech company wrestles to overcome a plague of manufacturing problems. Report

> MedImmune has inked a deal to license the worldwide rights to Trellis Biosciences' antibodies directed against the respiratory syncytial virus, agreeing to pay up to $338 million in an unspecified upfront payment and a schedule of milestones for any product that makes its way to the market. Trellis also stands to earn additional royalties from any sales. Report

> The FDA has handed back Merck KGaA's application for the oral MS drug cladribine, slapping the German pharma company with a "refuse to file" notice and dealing it a setback in its race with Novartis, which is preparing to file for approval of FTY720. Article

> For years multi-national pharma companies have enjoyed a relatively stable tax rate. Now PriceWaterhouseCoopers says that as personalized medicines grow in importance, the life sciences industry will become more service-oriented, adding diagnostics and new patient compliance technology that is likely to drive a rise in their overall tax rate--a trend that could have serious consequences for the biotech companies Big Pharma partners with to develop a new generation of biologics. Report

> Forma Therapeutics has capped a busy year with a $25.5 million Series B round, bringing its total venture haul for the year to more than $50 million as it pushes ahead with work on its own pipeline programs while swiftly marshaling a crowd of partners anxious to tap its innovative drug discovery platform for hot new drug prospects. Story

Research News

> A University of Michigan Health System study has found that female researchers are less likely to receive major federal funding than their male counterparts. Study

> Kangaroos: The next hope for skin cancer? Report

> A group of researchers at Boston University has mapped out key new insights into the command and control center of cancer cells, offering a new approach to identifying cancer cells and targeting them with new treatments. Article

> A research group at Harvard has developed a new approach to delivering therapeutic cancer vaccines, testing a small implant that contains tumor-specific antigens. The scientists say the implant, a small plastic disk that is about the same size as a fingernail, offers a more effective approach to delivering cancer vaccines than what's in the clinic today. Report

> The stimulus bill has showered the U.S. with billions of dollars in new scientific grants, including $274 million for scientists working in Michigan. Report

And Finally... The rise and fall of Lipitor, the world's best-selling drug. Report

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