EU extends review of Teva-Barr deal; Alkermes nixes partnership with Cephalon

> The EU extended its antitrust review of Teva Pharmaceuticals' proposed buyout of Barr Pharmaceuticals to consider new commitments--perhaps drug divestitures--offered by Teva to seal the deal. Report

> Alkermes made a deal to regain full rights to its alcohol dependence treatment Vivitrol from Cephalon, which had been its commercialization partner. Report

> Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac said a district in the City of Beijing suspended use of its hepatitis A vaccine, Healive, after a child died two days after receiving the shot. Release

> Drugmaker Enzon Pharmaceuticals called off plans to spin off its biotechnology division into an independent company focusing on developing cancer treatments. Report

> Antibiotics are the single largest class of drugs that cause idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI), researchers say. Report

> South Africa's largest pharmaceutical group, Adcock Ingram, posted increases in profits and earnings for 2008 after receiving a boost from a government contract for supplying anti-AIDS drugs. Report

> Artes Medical, maker of dermal fillers for cosmetic procedures, laid off all its employees last week and stopped distributing its product as management considers liquidating the company. Report

> Mylan said it has been sued by Cephalon, Eurand and Anesta over its application for FDA approval for a generic version of the muscle relaxant Amrix. Report

> Paladin Labs has inked an exclusive distribution deal with GlaxoSmithKline covering the Canadian distribution of Dexedrine, a treatment for ADHD and narcolepsy. Report

> Dental and medical device maker Biolase slashed its quarterly fixed costs by 20 percent, or $2 million, and is finalizing the layoff of 20 percent of its workforce, CEO Jake St. Philip said. Report

> NiCox entered into an agreement with Royal DSM for the commercial manufacture and supply of naproxcinod, an active pharmaceutical ingredient, or API, in the company's anti-inflammatory drugs. Report

> Peter Jager, CEO of Novartis Korea, was elected president of the Korean Research-based Pharmaceutical Industry Association Tuesday. Report

> One of the biggest debates looming in 2009 will be over the role of comparative effectiveness trials to evaluate the real worth of new therapies. But even if the new trials are mounted, will fresh data help rein in the use of more expensive therapies? Report

> The Wall Street Journal weighs with a feature looking at the increasingly tough stance overseas regulators are taking to the clinical trials being conducted around the world. Report

> The San Francisco Chronicle compared many of the biotech companies in its area to a spore; they're planning to cut costs and lie low until new money flows, just like a spore waits for fresh moisture to revive. Report

> Even though much of the rest of the economy is in a tailspin, some of biotech's largest companies are enjoying a surge in growth, with many hiring for dozens of open positions, including MedImmune, Biogen Idec, Genzyme and Vertex. Report

> A study of 450 people given Vanda Pharmaceuticals' experimental sleep drug tasimelteon demonstrated that the therapy can swiftly reset a body's circadian rhythm, offering a potential new treatment for people who suffer from jet lag or the effects of a night shift schedule. Report

> A gene silencing drug being developed by Regulus Therapeutics blocked the microRNA miR-21 and helped prevent heart failure in mice. The research helps to highlight the promise of RNA technology, which has been attracting big pharma's interest and investment dollars. Report

And Finally... A woman called police to fend off the attentions of her amorous 82-year-old husband after he took Viagra, fearing that he might die of "passion." Report

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