Elan loses ground on Lundbeck's 'no'; Sanofi launches web TV channel;

> Elan's share price dipped by just over 1 percent yesterday after Danish pharmaceutical firm Lundbeck ruled out any potential takeover approach for the Irish company. Report

> A common virus may be a major cause of high blood pressure, researchers said on Thursday in a finding that may bring a new approach to treating a condition that affects an estimated 1 billion people worldwide. Report

> Merck Ltd, a unit of German drug maker Merck KGaA, on Friday said its board will meet on May 20 to consider a share buyback. Report

> Sanofi-Aventis announced today the launch of Sanofi-Aventis TV, a new webTV aimed at providing information about the company's wide range of patient-focused businesses, social responsibilities and employee activities. Report

> Pfizer's Lyrica, a treatment for nerve pain and seizures, lowers the incidence of hot flashes in women, a study shows. Report

> Right now, the only therapy recommended for children bitten by scorpions is heavy sedation to get them through several hours of severe symptoms that include flailing arms and legs. But now a small study of an experimental Mexican drug indicates that a new treatment may be at hand. Report

> Now that Sanofi-Aventis has finished trimming some of its marginal drug development programs, the French pharma is reloading its pipeline with a licensing deal for a preclinical antibody advanced by Japan's Kyowa Hakko Kirin. Report

> Shares of Medarex were buoyed this morning on the news that its experimental rheumatoid arthritis drug met its primary endpoint in a mid-stage trial. And the results are paving the way to a new round of studies involving a range of inflammatory diseases. Report

> Shares of Belgium's UCB shot up after the company announced that the FDA had approved its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Cimzia. The drug, which the patient can inject himself using a prefilled syringe, is now approved for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Report

> North Carolina-based Cempra Pharmaceuticals has raised a hefty $46 million in a third round of financing. The company is developing two antibiotics for multi-drug resistant bacterial infections. The round was led by Quaker BioVentures. Devon Park Bioventures also participated, along with original investors Aisling Capital, Intersouth Partners, investment banker Wistar Morris III and Teachers' Private Capital. Report

> Health ministers in the UK say that they aren't waiting to see if the WHO will declare a level six pandemic alert. They're ready to order enough swine flu vaccine for the entire population. Report

> While the U.S. government weighs the wisdom of rolling out a program to vaccinate citizens against swine flu, most adults appear ready to do without. Report

> Officials with the world's leading vaccine suppliers will meet with regulators and scientists at the World Health Organization today to consider whether to launch a massive three to six-month effort to begin manufacturing a global stockpile of swine flu vaccine. Report

And Finally... Desperate to woo back travelers, more than 20 coastal Mexico resorts have launched a "flu-free guarantee": Guests who catch the H1N1 virus--and have the blood test to prove it--get their next three vacations for free. Report