FDA gives nod to generic Plan B; Takeda may lose replacement for Actos;

> The FDA approved a generic version of the controversial Plan B morning-after contraceptive, to be available by prescription only for women 17 years and younger and without prescription for older women. Report

> Takeda Pharmaceutical's new diabetes drug faces a likely approval delay, leaving the company without a contender to replace sales of its star diabetes pill Actos when its patent expires in 18 months. Report

> Pfizer boosted its offer price to buy a 33.77 percent stake in India-based Pfizer from public shareholders, to $17.14 per share. Report

> Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says a jury has handed down a $16 million judgment against Sandoz, the generic-drugs division of pharmaceutical giant Novartis. Report

> Hospitals could sign on to an agreement with Senate health reform leader Max Baucus and the White House to help save up to $200 billion as part of the healthcare overhaul. Report

> Merck KGaA launched an electronic injection device designed to make self-administration of its multiple sclerosis drug Rebif easier for patients. Report

> Labopharm shored up its credit lines with two key lenders, giving it more financial flexibility to advance its drug pipeline. Report

> British generic drugs supplier Goldshield Group said it has received bid approaches for the company, sending its shares up 5 percent. Report

> Healthcare conglomerate Fresenius is largely immune to government budget cuts and the global slowdown because funding of its live saving treatments offers will not be untouched, its finance chief said. Report

Biotech News

> Just months after taking the helm of Sanofi-Aventis, Chris Viehbacher says he's weeks away from unveiling a makeover of the company's research and development side, and there are some broad hints that the company will be putting much more emphasis on external collaborations. Report

> Calando Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Arrowhead Research, has struck a licensing deal with Cerulean Pharma for Calando's drug delivery platform, Cyclosert, and the associated clinical stage anti-cancer drug, IT-101. Report

> The FDA has given a thumb's down to an immediate approval of GlaxoSmithKline's experimental nausea therapy Rezonic. Report

> A day after creditors went to federal court in a bid to push the financially shaky vaccine maker Protein Sciences into bankruptcy liquidation, the company won a $35 million federal contract to push a faster and more efficient approach to making pandemic vaccines. Report

> A new stem cell transplantation therapy appears to hold the promise of curing Crohn's disease in a large percentage of patients.  Report

> Shares of Osiris Therapeutics slid nearly 10 percent in after-hours trading after the developer announced that interim data on Prochymal--a cutting-edge adult stem cell therapy--failed to demonstrate an improvement in pulmonary function in COPD patients enrolled in a mid-stage study. Report 

Vaccine News

> A drug used to block immune cells from attacking transplanted organs also triggers the increased production of memory T-cells, and that could play a surprising role in boosting the effectiveness of cancer vaccines and other jabs. Report

> Germany's Merck KGaA has launched a late-stage trial of the therapeutic vaccine Stimuvax in patients with breast cancer. Already in a Phase III study for non-small cell lung cancer, Merck is out to determine if the vaccine can extend the lives of patients in other cancer populations as well. Report

> Less than three months after winning FDA approval, a U.S. immunization panel has put the Japanese encephalitis vaccine Ixiaro on a list of jabs recommended for American travelers. Report

And Finally... Preventive care can save lives, but typically doesn't save money. Report

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