Democrats may not be ready for new reform proposal; Roche, Merck working on treatment-targeting diagnostic;

 @FiercePharma: Top 10 drugs from new Merck, new Pfizer. Article | Follow @FiercePharma

> U.S. House Democrats say their party may not be able to offer a single healthcare proposal at the Feb. 25 meeting President Barack Obama has called with a challenge to Republicans to present their alternative. Report

> Roche says it is collaborating with Merck to develop a potential cancer test that could be used to more accurately target therapies. Report

> Novartis is looking at fully integrating U.S.-based eye-care group Alcon by the end of this year, a top company official says. Report

> Biota Holdings reported a surge in net profit, driven by royalties from Relenza, its drug that combats swine flu. Report

> Gilead Sciences' four-in-one combination pill for AIDS had fewer side effects and may be more effective than its three-drug treatment Atripla, the world's best-selling HIV therapy, a study found. Report

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: J&J's prostate cancer drug abiraterone proves promising in Phase II. Story | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: 80% of health workers in Mumbai refusing swine flu vax; afraid of potential side effects from imported shots. Article | Follow @JohnCFierce 

> GlaxoSmithKline and partner XenoPort have suffered a setback after regulators in the U.S. rejected Horizant, a potential treatment for restless legs syndrome. Report

> Regeneron (REGN) and Germany's Bayer Healthcare issued a thumb's up today on their mid-stage study of VEGF-Trap Eye. Story

> Shares of Gilead Sciences moved up yesterday on the news that its new HIV combo drug dubbed Quad was just as effective as the popular Atripla in a mid-stage trial. Report

> Who's up for a big FDA approval decision in the first half? Article

Pharma Manufacturing News

> The current limitations of vaccine-manufacturing technology are among the biggest lessons learned from the 2009 H1N1 flu, says Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Report

> Add three more drugs whose commercial availability is contingent on a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy: Aranesp, Epogen and Procrit. Article

Vaccines News

> After a detailed analysis of 75 scientific studies, a group of researchers at the Cochrane Library has concluded that there's little hard evidence to prove that the annual flu vaccination campaign for the elderly does any good. Story

> The venture arm of Novartis has joined a group of investors channeling $13.6 million in fresh funds for Immune Targeting Systems, which is hard at work on an experimental universal flu vaccine. Report

And Finally... Breast-cancer patients who take aspirin daily may cut their risk of dying of the disease by 50 percent, according to a new study. Report

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