FDA blesses Schering's hep C combo for kids; Study may shake up cancer treatment;

> The first high-tech, long-acting treatment for hepatitis C in children, a two-drug combination from Schering-Plough, has been approved by the FDA. Release

> A particularly fast-growing form of breast cancer should be treated aggressively after surgery even when tumors are very small, according to new research that could alter treatment for one in five women diagnosed with breast cancer. Report

> India's National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has asked all pharmaceutical companies in the country to cut drug prices by 2.84 percent, to pass on to consumers the benefit of a recent excise duty cut, the Indian government said. Report

> Par Pharmaceutical, a generics maker that is cutting jobs in a major restructuring, said its CFO Veronica Lubatkin has resigned, to be replaced by Lawrence Kenyon, previously president and CFO of Alfacell. Release

> Bristol-Myers Squibb has snatched up two Exelixis programs that GSK left behind when it ended its six-year collaboration with Exelixis. Report

> Ireland's Elan announced today that it would close its New York and Tokyo offices in the first quarter of 2009 as part of a cost-cutting and restructuring plan. Report

> Boston Scientific got the FDA nod for its Express SD Renal Monorail stent system, for use as an adjunct to percutaneous transluminal renal angioplasty in the renal arteries. Release

> Lexicon Pharmaceuticals has opted to halt development of its memory improvement therapy after the drug flunked a Phase II trial. Report

> In early November, Swedish biotech firm Q-Med said it had received a $502 million offer from from Ivytan, a firm owned by private equity group EQT V and Lyftet Holding. It now appears that deal has fallen apart. Report

> The FDA gave a thumbs up to Eisai's IV sedative-hypnotic drug Lusedra for use in monitored anesthesia. Release

> Barr Pharmaceuticals announced Thursday that the FDA has accepted their application for the company's first two biologics, developed for the Department of Defense. Report

> Tibotec, an Ireland-based Johnson & Johnson company, has signed a deal with Indian company Emcure Pharmaceuticals, to distribute its HIV inhibitor drug, Darunavir, in India. Report

> Harry Thomas Stratford, founder of Shire, has joined the board of Irish drug developer Merrion Pharmaceuticals. Report

> Through its German subsidiary Betapharm, Dr Reddy's will be the sole supplier of 8 products to different regions in Germany. Report

> Bi-Coastal Pharmaceutical acquired the U.S. marketing rights to Aquoral artificial saliva, used to treat xerostomia. Report

> Alnylam Pharmaceuticals' collaboration with Roche on RNAi therapeutics garnered the "Best Partnership Alliance" prize at the Scrip Awards. Release

> Also at the Scrip Awards, Parexel was named "Best Contract Research Organization." Release

Emerging Drug Developer: Ascent Therapeutics

And Finally... A lethal strain of avian influenza has resurfaced in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Cambodia, raising the threat to humans as the traditional winter flu season approaches. Report