Daiichi, FDA to meet on Ranbaxy; Botox rival gets French regulators' OK;

> Daiichi Sankyo, the new owner of Ranbaxy Laboratories, will meet FDA officials next month to sort out the regulatory problems at Ranbaxy's Poanta Sahib plant in India, Daiichi President and CEO Takashi Shoda said. Report

> Meanwhile, Ranbaxy will launch the blood pressure remedy Olvance (olmesartan medoxomil), a drug from parent company Daiichi Sankyo's stable, in India. Report

> Ipsen's Azzalure, an aesthetic-use muscle relaxant akin to Botox, won approval from French regulators; it will be marketed by Galderma beginning in the first half of 2009. Report

> Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb announced new data showing that patients at risk of stroke who took Plavix in addition to aspirin significantly reduced major vascular events over aspirin alone. Sanofi release

> AstraZeneca's cancer pill Recentin, developed to be a rival to the blockbuster Avastin, may help fight the deadly effects of brain tumors without shrinking them, researchers said. Report

> Novartis won the FDA nod to sell a new vaccine for the prevention of Japanese Encephalitis. Report

> The FDA approved for sale Afinitor, a kidney-cancer drug that Novartis hopes to eventually expand to a variety of other cancers. Report

> Pfizer said a new study found that 47 percent of smokers with a history of cardiovascular disease who took Chantix (varenicline) were able to quit smoking and remain abstinent during the last four weeks of treatment (weeks 9-12) compared with just 13.9 percent of those given placebo. Report

> Takeda Pharmaceutical, Japan's biggest drug maker, will move its global research and development headquarters across the Pacific to Illinois, the company said Tuesday. Report

> In a sign of the times, Donald Garcia, the medical director for Austin-based CRO FutureSearch Trials, says he's been seeing more executives turn out for a new trial for depression. Report

> At long last, GlaxoSmithKline has filed its last batch of data supporting its application for the cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix. Report

> Two years after a trial failure forced the start of a restructuring program, tiny Genaera announced this morning that it is cutting again. Report

> Woburn, MA-based BioVex has raised $40 million in the first close of a series F private financing. BioVex report

> Kevin Sharer (photo) has had his ups and downs as CEO of Amgen. And in a wide ranging conversation with the New York Times on his management style, Sharer discussed some of what he's learned in his 10 years at the helm of the biotech giant. Report

And Finally... Take two hours of Halo and call me in the morning? Researchers have found evidence that action videogames may improve eyesight. Report

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