Daiichi Sankyo nabs 52.5% of Ranbaxy; J&J cutting 154 Belgian plant jobs

> Daiichi Sankyo has wrapped up a 52.5 percent stake in India's Ranbaxy Laboratories, making Ranbaxy a subsidiary of the Japanese firm. Release l Report

> Some much-needed good news for the UK: MedImmune has opened a new biologics R&D facility in Cambridge that it says will boost the number of candidate drugs that it can develop each year. Report

> Johnson & Johnson will scrap 154 positions at its Belgian subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutica, following a reorganization of its pharmaceutical production; the company expects to move staffers to other positions within the company. Report

> With help from Aisling Capital, L Capital Partners and Pappas Ventures, CeNeRx BioPharma raised $15 million in a second round of financing. The company is developing and commercializing treatments for diseases of the central nervous system. Report

> Desperate to regain its edge in the cholesterol market, Merck is adding another 5,000 patients to a key clinical trial for its Cordaptive drug in hopes obtaining regulatory approval as soon as possible. Report

> Novo Nordisk has released more data on its much-watched diabetes drug liraglutide. In a head-to-head trial against exenatide (Byetta), liraglutide, a human GLP-1 analog, was more effective at improving blood glucose control than Byetta. Report

> Cadila Healthcare got the FDA nod to market Risperidone tablets in six strengths, becoming the latest generics maker to compete with Johnson & Johnson's branded antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Report

> Synthetic biology--a relatively new field which joins biology and engineering to create or change life forms--is catching the attention of venture capitalists looking for the next big thing. Report

> The Chinese manufacturer of a ginseng injection that killed three people has recalled all its injection products, the country's drug safety watchdog said Saturday. Report

> Schering-Plough tapped Raul E. Kohan to take over its animal health unit from Ruurd Stolp. Report

Emerging Drug Developer: Intradigm

And Finally... Adding corticosteroids to traditional antimicrobial therapy might help people with pneumonia recover more quickly than with antibiotics alone. Report

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