FDA to consider cold-med recall; Solvay scraps $300M vaccine plant;

> With a new cold season coming, pediatricians again are urging the FDA to recall over-the-counter medicines for kids' coughs and sniffles. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay insurance companies $40 million in settlement of a long-running legal dispute over its Paxil drug. Report

> Bayer can start selling its novel one-tablet, once-daily anticoagulant Xarelto very soon now that European regulators have approved the drug, which is being touted as a blockbuster. Bayer release

> Solvay Pharmaceuticals has decided it will not build a $300 million flu vaccine manufacturing plant in the U.S., in part because of the current credit crisis. Report

> The rising tide of protest over the refusal by the U.K.'s National Health Service to provide expensive drugs for cancer and other conditions is being funded by the pharmaceutical industry, a British newspaper reports. Report

> New research offers more evidence that a new class of AIDS drug--represented by Pfizer's Selzentry--can provide major benefits for certain patients who have become immune to existing medications. Report

> Florida has joined eight other states in suing Merck over what the state alleges was deceptive marketing of its former prescription painkiller Vioxx. Report

> A federal judge in Boston has certified two nationwide classes and set the stage for two more trials in the multidistrict wholesale drug pricing case against AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Report

> Congressional investigators are probing payments by Medtronic to spine doctors working as consultants on a widely used bone-graft product, which has been linked to life-threatening complications. Report

> Obese patients with a specific genetic make-up lose more weight when taking the drug Meridia (sibutramine) and undergoing behavioral therapy compared to those without this genetic make-up, reports a new study in Gastroenterology. Report

> Symphony Capital Partners is handing over $40 million to Oxigene to help the company advance its pipeline of vascular disrupting agent drug candidates for cancer and eye disease. Report

> German biotech MediGene announced that its UK subsidiary, MediGene Ltd., will be merged into its new spin-off company, Immunocore. Medigene report

> Cambridge, MA-based Idera Pharmaceuticals is reporting disappointing preliminary results from a Phase II trial of IMO-2055. The primary endpoint--tumor response based on RECIST (response evaluation criteria in solid tumors)--wasn't met. Idera report

> Advanced Life Sciences signed a development marketing pact with Wyeth for cethromycin, an antibiotic for community respiratory tract infections, a deal which could be worth $100 million. ALS also announced that cethromycin has been submitted to the FDA for approval. ALS report

> Merck KGaA enterd the Bristol-Myers Squibb/ImClone buyout fray. While the German company said it isn't prepared to bid for the whole company, it would be interested in partnering with another drug company to outbid BMS's current $62-per-share offer. Merck report

And Finally... If bioterrorists strike, letter carriers might deliver antibiotics. Report