FDA checks out orlistat's liver safety; Aurobindo stock soars on Pfizer deal;

> The FDA is investigating postmarketing reports of hepatotoxicity with the anti-obesity agent orlistat, the active ingredient in Roche's prescription drug Xenical and GlaxoSmithKline's over-the-counter version Alli, Scrip News reports. Report

> Aurobindo Pharma stock soared 5.5 percent on news of its expanded partnership with Pfizer on generic-drug sales. Report

> A U.S. Senate panel backed legislation that would give the FDA power to control the advertising and manufacturing of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Report

> Solvay Pharmaceuticals has signed a license agreement with Lipocine to acquire exclusive rights to develop and commercialise an oral formulation of testosterone. Report

> A crunch week looms for Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline as U.S. regulators decide the fate of two experimental drugs for blood clots and leukaemia that are key for both companies. Report

> Barclays reiterated its "overweight" rating on Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, calling the Israeli company its "favorite name in the generic space." Report

> With Japanese officials calling for calm as swine flu starts spreading in the island nation, the World Health Organization is pressing a group of global vaccine manufacturers to get ready to mass-produce a new flu vaccine.  WHO wants Sanofi-Aventis and others to have a vaccine identified and ready to go by mid-July. Report

> This year's unofficial theme at BIO is how to survive the economic crisis--with a lot of different ideas over just how this will play out in the future. Report

> For those who've never used it, Twitter may seem boring, pointless and even narcissistic. It can seem even more useless as a tool to promote your biotech's work. But individuals and companies who have embraced this technology have come to understand how essential--and powerful--social media has become for brand management. Report

> Four of Boston's leading biotech CEOs sat down with a reporter and editor from the Boston Globe to review the state of affairs in the industry--and they had a lot of concerns. Report

> Deerfield Management has agreed to provide an additional $40 million to Array BioPharma to fund its drug development work and add some fresh confidence as the developer pursues new partnership deals. That money is in addition to the $80 million that Deerfield provided to Array last year. Report

> Researchers for Genzyme and Isis Pharmaceuticals say that a late-stage clinical trial turned up positive data for their cholesterol drug mipomersen. Report

> An FDA advisory panel unanimously decided to show Debiovision the door after deciding that an experimental drug it was proposing lacked the data it needed to prove the therapy stopped esophageal bleeding. Salix Pharmaceuticals has the U.S. marketing rights to the drug. Report

> Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers' Chinese arm has reportedly struck a deal to invest $15 million in a biotech company located in the eastern region of the country. Quoting sources, Reuters said that KPCB had struck a deal with the Chinese subsidiary of GenScript, which does outsourced research work. Report

> Fresh on the heels of its takeover of Genentech, Roche is preparing to take the stage at ASCO later this month to tout its continuing sucess in developing targeted cancer therapies. Report

> A  team of scientists says that inserting a gene into muscle successfully spurred production of antibodies that fought off HIV/AIDS in both mice and monkeys, offering an intriguing new approach to developing a vaccine for one of the world's deadlist killers. Report

> The U.S. is doing a poor job at grooming a new generation of scientists for the life sciences industry. Report

> A $198 million biodefense lab complex has been completed at Boston University Medical Center, but a group of determined activists has so far been able to stop scientists from doing any work in it. Report

And Finally... Scientists have produced more evidence that vitamin D has an important role in keeping the brain in good working order in later life. Report