Europe clears rotavirus vaccines from GSK, Merck; Pfizer's spent $4.3M on lobbying in Q1;

  @FiercePharma:  J&J chief's back surgery delays House testimony. Article | Follow @FiercePharma

> Rotavirus vaccines made by GlaxoSmithKline and Merck & Co are safe to use despite being contaminated with a pig virus, Europe's drugs watchdog said Friday, a week after the U.S. FDA came to the same conclusion. Report

> Pfizer spent $4.3 million lobbying Congress and federal agencies in the first quarter on numerous aspects of the healthcare overhaul, coverage of its medicines, and tax and patent issues, according to a quarterly disclosure. Report

> Oil company Total has reduced the level of its voting rights in French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis below the 10 percent threshold, according to a filing with stock market regulator Autorite des Marches Financieres. Report

> Colorectal cancer patients who continued treatment with Roche's Avastin even after their cancer worsened lived longer than those who went off the drug, according to a new "observational analysis." Report

> Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk will remove 25 microgram doses of a treatment for atrophic vaginitis in menopausal women from the U.S. market to comply with the recommendations of medical professionals. Report

> People using cholesterol-lowering statins have a higher risks of liver dysfunction, kidney failure, muscle weakness and cataracts, and such side effects of the drug should be closely tracked, doctors said on Friday. Report

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: FDA proposes controversial release of complete response letters. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: Harvard analysis concludes that the next pandemic will see huge numbers of people steering clear of a vaccine. Article  | Follow @JohnCFierce

> Anadys shares climb on upbeat PhII case for hep C drug. News

> Biotechs will have to scramble for a piece of $1B grant pie. Report

> New York readies big biotech facility for homegrown developers. Item

> Seattle biotech entrepreneur floating $15M IPO. Story

> ASCO: Lilly tracks partial melanoma response, Celldex shares sink. Article 

And Finally... George Mason University researchers say in a new study that the eradication of smallpox might have inadvertently aided the spread of HIV. In fact, the vaccine used to wipe out smallpox offered some protection against the AIDS virus and, now that it is no longer used, HIV has flourished. Story