FDA rewriting OTC promo rules; E.U. loosens up on drug marketing;

> The Food and Drug Administration will rewrite decades-old federal regulations governing how over-the-counter cold and cough medicines are marketed to children amid concerns over whether the products are safe and effective. Report

> Scripps Research Institute has won a $30 million grant from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative to create a new research center that will hunt for a new vaccine to guard against HIV. Report

> Pharma would have greater freedom to provide information on its medicines directly to European patients under proposals endorsed on Thursday by EU officials, member states, drug companies and consumer groups. Report

> Roche is reassuring everyone that despite all the market turmoil that has occurred worldwide in recent weeks, it's still on track to raise the $43.7 billion it's bid to acquire all the outstanding shares of Genentech. Roche report

> In a tersely worded statement, Merck announced that it is dumping its late-stage obesity drug taranabant after determining that the efficacy of the drug is tied to high doses--which in turn triggered side effects. Merck Report

> Merrill Lynch cut its rating on Schering-Plough to underperform from neutral and lowered its price target to $18 from $22, saying it expects the efficacy and safety controversies around Vytorin/Zetia to continue. Report

> Qiagen has bought out the Biosystems division of Biotage, snaring new sequencing technology in a deal worth $53 million in cash and up to $7 million in milestones over the next four years. Qiagen report

> Cardinal Health has reached a settlement with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and seven U.S. attorney's offices that will allow it to resume shipments of controlled substances from all of its warehouses. Cardinal Health release

> Now that Zentiva's board has approved a buyout bid from Sanofi-Aventis, the two companies will provide the European Commission with missing details on the purchase plan. Report

> Lilly Ventures has led an $18.5 million round for Intradigm, a Palo Alto-CA-based developer working on RNAi therapeutics. Venture Capital report

> A federal judge in New Jersey said a participant lawsuit against Schering-Plough over employee company stock investments can be pursued as a class action. Report

> With the heat on to monitor the safety of vaccines, the CDC is calling for a new electronic system that can swiftly gather reports of adverse events from around the country. CDC report

> Emergent BioSolutions' monopoly on approved anthrax vaccines was worth a new federal contract worth up to $404 million for a fresh stockpile. Emergent report

> Late last week a group of the world's top health officials met to put the finishing touches to a multibillion-dollar campaign aimed at wiping out malaria. Report

> Scripps Research Institute has won a $30 million grant from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative to create a new research center that will hunt for a new vaccine to guard against HIV. Scripps Institute report

And Finally... Cancer patients, don't take your vitamins. Too much C might interfere with chemo. Report

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