First Zometa liability case reaches trial; Forest profits beat analyst estimates;

> Health risks allegedly associated with the Novartis bone drug Zometa are under debate in Montana in the first such case to reach trial. Report

> Forest Laboratories reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong sales of certain products, but gave an outlook below analysts' forecasts. Report

> Four pharmaceutical companies have agreed to pay $124 million to resolve charges that they submitted false claims to the U.S. Medicaid insurance program for the poor, the Justice Department said. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline, Shire and Boehringer Ingelheim said they continue to support distribution of copycat versions of their branded HIV/AIDS drugs in Rwanda. Report

> Sales of Actelion's most important drug--the heart and lung remedy Tracleer--disappointed in the third quarter, even as the company met profit forecasts and was upbeat for the full year. Report

> Indian drugmaker Lupin is looking for acquisitions in the United States and in emerging markets to expand its overseas operations, its chairman said. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline got the FDA nod for its Votrient medication to treat patients with advanced kidney cancer. Report

> Boehringer Ingelheim won a new indication for its Micardis drug: to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and CV death in patients unable to take ACE inhibitors. Release

> IMS Health rose the most ever in New York trading after the Wall Street Journal reported the provider of health-care research was in talks to sell itself to a private-equity firm. Report

Biotech News

> Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) took the wraps off a full set of late-stage data on its lupus drug Benlysta this morning, and investors were impressed by fresh evidence of the drug's statistical significance. Report

> A trio of venture capital firms has chipped in $24 million to fund a new biotech company, which is starting out with a late-stage development program licensed in from Unigene Laboratories. Report

> R&D deals are driving a spike in M&A activity. Report

> Venture capital groups picked up the pace on deal-making in the third quarter, but cut back slightly on the amount of money they invested in developers, according to the latest analysis from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association. Report

Research News

> An enzyme known as activated protein C, or APC, was able to significantly prolong the lives of mice involved in a study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. Study

> Pfizer's R&D czars big on collaboration, quiet on cuts. Report

> A team of researchers used a newly identified human cardiac master stem cell to create a strip of heart muscle in the lab that essentially works "like slapping a Band-Aid on the heart." Report

> San Diego-based startup Fate Therapeutics has scored a stem cell tech coup, gaining breakthrough new technology that makes it easier and far less expensive to scale up the production of induced pluripotent stem cells--adult stem cells reengineered to have the same tissue-generating characteristics as embryonic stem cells. Report

And Finally... Antibiotic-resistant infections add between $16.6 billion and $26 billion to the U.S. health-care bill each year, researchers found. Report