FDA panel to weigh epilepsy med warning; Sale falls through for Pfizer plant in Ireland

> A black-box warning for 11 epilepsy drugs came closer to reality when FDA posted a recommendation for the warning to its agenda for an upcoming advisory committee meeting this week. Report

> Pfizer's deal to sell one of its plants in Cork, Ireland, fell through, putting 500 jobs at both Cork facilities in jeopardy. Report

> The FDA approved Invitrogen's SPOT-Light genetic test for determining whether breast cancer patients should be treated with the Genentech drug Herceptin. Release

> Novo Nordisk, Schering-Plough and Daiichi Sanyo were awarded places 5, 24 and 26 respectively in the annual contest for the best places to work in the U.K. judged by the Great Place to Work Institute. Report

> Antidepressants may increase the chance of GI bleeding, but a new study also indicates the risk remains low. Report

> Major drug companies including Ranbaxy, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli Lilly have asked the Indian government to review its decision to impose price controls on their key brands. Report

> U.K. pharma companies are losing an estimated $46.8 million per year on staff mistakes, a new report shows. Report

> Two other high-level MedImmune executives left the company around the same time as CEO David Mott's much-publicized exit: Jim Young, president of research and development, and Ed Mathers, executive vice president of corporate development and ventures. Report

> Shares of Israel's Teva Pharmaceuticals slid after the company announced that a late-stage trial of a higher dose of its MS drug Copaxone did not perform better than a standard dose. Report

> India's Biocon is following the footsteps of a lineup of the subcontinent's biopharma companies in spinning off its R&D operations into a separate company. Report

> Introgen Therapeutics is moving into a new phase of development--which has a reduced focus on R&D. With Advexin p53 newly filed for regulatory review in the U.S. and Europe, Introgen is handing out pink slips to many members of its development staff. Report

> A group of Japanese chemists have created a DNA molecule using almost all artificial parts--a breakthrough that may soon offer medical researchers a powerful new tool to work with. Report

And Finally... Advertising columnist Bob Garfield says pharma needs to "clean up its act" to improve its image. Report

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