Experts warn UK needs more stem cell funding; Analysts predict sharks, bait in M&A to come;

> Experts are warning Britain that the nation may lose its place as a world leader in stem cell research without proper funding and legislative changes. Report

> Wall Street applauded King Pharmaceuticals's $1.6 billion takeover of Alpharma on Monday, saying it puts the combined company in a good position within the pain-treatment market. Report

> The FDA desperately needs an infusion of strong leadership, money, technology and personnel--and perhaps a major restructuring, say former officials, members of Congress, watchdog groups and various government reports. Report

> Deutsche Bank analyst Barbara Ryan says in the M&A standoff to come, Merck and Pfizer will likely be acquirers, while Bristol-Myers Squibb and Wyeth are bait. Report

> With the funding environment in turmoil, North Carolina biotechs are appealing to Governor-elect Bev Perdue to support the industry with millions of dollars in additional funds. Report

> An FDA advisory committee voted unanimously to back Takeda's application for the first new gout drug in 40 years. Report

> Cephalon has agreed to pay London-based ImmuPharma $15 million for an option on the worldwide rights to its experimental lupus drug Lupuzor. Lupuzor is currently in a mid-stage trial at sites in Latin America and Europe. Report

> Roche is buying Memory Pharmaceuticals for $50 million. The pharma giant is paying 61 cents a share, a big premium over Memory's bottom-dwelling price of 15 cents a share. Report

> Treatment with certain epilepsy drugs may expose some Asian patients to serious skin reactions, federal health officials warned Monday. Report

> A team of scientists at the University of Copenhagen has advanced new technology for developing vaccines. They attach a gene from the target virus to a chain of amino acids, load it into an incapacitated virus and then inject it. The vaccine immediately triggers a strong immune reaction, which may also work against cancer. Report

> Scientists in Munich and Boston have been working with new 3-D imaging systems that use "ultrafast" cameras to capture high resolution images of the molecular activity taking place in mice engineered to develop lung cancer. With additional work the scientists say the same approach can be used to study cancer in people. Report

And Finally... Over the past several years the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's multibillion-dollar endowment has transformed global research on new vaccines. But the world economic crisis is hitting its plans along with everyone else in the development field. And Bill Gates has asked everyone at the foundation to help trim expenses. Seattle-based foundation has announced that it will have to shave its payouts next year by 10 percent. Report

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