Feds probe Pfizer over Rapamune marketing; Appeals court lets Paxil suit go forward;

@FiercePharma: Daiichi Sankyo joins the list of branded drugmakers looking to diversify into the generics business in Japan. Article | Follow @FiercePharma

> Federal prosecutors in Oklahoma are conducting a criminal investigation of a Pfizer unit's promotional practices for organ-transplant drug Rapamune, the drugmaker disclosed. Report

> The 7th Circuit allowed a Paxil lawsuit to go forward, ruling that GlaxoSmithKline didn't meet its burden of showing with "clear evidence" that FDA would have rejected a change in the drug's labeling to warn about the enhanced possibility of suicide in young adults. Report

> The German government has sacked the head of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care to placate the drug industry, a German MP and professor alleged in an interview with the BMJ. Report

> The FDA formally approved Shire's Vpriv drug for the rare genetic disorder Gaucher disease; the medication will compete with Genzyme's Cerezyme treatment. Report

> Gram-negative bacteria could pose a bigger threat to health than the well-known strain of drug-resistant staph, MRSA, in part because drugmakers aren't developing many new treatments for germs of that type. Report

> Stada Arzneimittel surged in Frankfurt trading after the German generics maker beat its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization forecast for last year. Report

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: New Novartis CEO Jimenez scouting for 'bolt-on' buyouts. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce:  Rockwell Medical's conference call starts late. This company is not putting its best foot forward. Follow @JohnCFierce

> CRO PPD has opened its new, 18,000-square-foot contract research facility in Athlone, Ireland, where it hopes to eventually hire 250 employees. Story

> Anthera IPO limps out at half price. Report

> Following its acquisition of Schering-Plough, Merck has released an updated pipeline that features 20 candidates in Phase III or under regulatory review, and more than 20 candidates in Phase II development. Report

> Merck KgAA offers $7.2B for Millipore. Article

Biotech IT News

> The FDA describes concerns and considerations in the draft guidance on adaptive clinical trials released last week. Article

> Parexel International has opened an early-phase clinical trial unit in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Report

> A new service from a clinical trial operations software provider offers an assist to biotechs in getting on top of clinical trial processes and costs. Article

> EDC giving way to clinical software suites. Item

And Finally... Dr. Sheldon G. Gilgore, a leader of two major pharmaceutical companies--Pfizer and G.D. Searle--during decades of rapid change in the drug business, died Feb. 12 in his home in Naples, Fla. Report

Virtual Clinical Trials Summit

Virtual Clinical Trials Summit: The Premier Educational Event Focused on Decentralized Clinical Trials

In this virtual environment, we will look at current and future trends for ongoing virtual trials, diving into the many ways companies can improve patient engagement and trial behavior to enhance retention with a focus on emerging technology and harmonized data access across the clinical trial system.