FDA's Byetta review may go into 2009; BMS, Astra extend diabetes JV to Japan

> The FDA's review of the extended-release, injectable form of the diabetes drug Byetta will likely be incomplete at year's end, and may extend into 2009, Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals announced. Release

> Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca said they've expanded their worldwide collaboration on the development and commercialization of type 2 diabetes treatment dapagliflozin into Japan. Release

> Actavis inked a deal to sell its plant in Razgrad, Bulgaria, to a management group at the factory, which will then produce Actavis products on contract. Report

> Vanda Pharmaceuticals cut from its payroll two executives: Chief Commercial Officer Al Gianchetti and sales-and-marketing chief Fred Graff. Report

> Solvay Pharmaceuticals President and CEO Laurence Downey will retire in April after 30 years with the company. Report

> Millipore has entered into a worldwide, non-exclusive licensing agreement with Astellas Pharma to use Millipore's Ubiquitous Chromatin Opening Element technology in its research programs. Report

> C.R. Bard got the FDA nod to market its E-Luminexx vascular stent for artery occlusive disease. Release

> As the public's knowledge of clinical trials grows, so does biopharma's difficulty recruiting patients for studies. Report

> Fearing competition from generic biotech drugs, Amgen shelled out $2.4 million last quarter lobbying the federal government. Amylin Pharmaceuticals also spent $540K on the same issue. Report

> YM BioSciences's European partner Oncoscience has withdrawn its EMEA application for marketing authorization of nimotuzumab, an oncology drug already approved in 12 countries. Report

> San Diego's Orexigen Therapeutics is halting early-stage work on two drugs to focus on its late-stage obesity program. Report

> Twenty-two of the UK's biotech leaders--including Sir Christopher Evans--are petitioning legislators for two £500 million funds to keep the country's biotech sector on its feet. Report

And Finally... As the search for a new FDA Commissioner heats up, CDER chief Janet Woodcock, would like you to know that she’s not to blame for the long delay in Plan B contraceptive sales. Report