Forest, Cypress postpone fibromyalgia drug launch; Microsoft teams with Indian gov't on pharma IT

> Forest Laboratories and Cypress Bioscience said on Friday that they were pushing back the U.S. launch of their fibromyalgia drug Savella while they seek approval for a minor cosmetic change. Release

> Sun Pharmaceutical once again extended its tender offer for Taro Pharmaceutical, this time through Friday, March 20. Release

> In an attempt to persuade small and medium-size pharma companies to adopt new IT approaches, the Indian government has teamed up with Microsoft to offer a cluster of drugmakers several custom-designed hosted software solutions. Report

> The U.S. branch of generics maker Teva Pharmaceuticals is figuring out where to undertake a major expansion of its local operations --near its current U.S. headquarters in the Philadelphia area or in South Jersey or Delaware. Report

> Federal health officials warned Thursday that patients who wear nicotine or other drug patches during M.R.I. scans risk burns, because some patches contain tiny metal elements that can be heated by the device's huge magnet. Report

> WellPoint has put its in-house pharmacy-benefit management business up for auction, a move that could spur other insurers to consider similar sales, according to people familiar with the matter. Report

> The FDA has nearly doubled the number of inspectors in its Minneapolis office over the past year, marking a rebuilding of its local presence. Report

> Indian pharma is expecting a new FDA office in Delhi to boost local companies' efforts to get drugs approved and speed them up as well. Report

> Ranbaxy Laboratories got Australian regulatory approval to sell its version of the Novartis antifungal treatment Lamisil. Report

> Schering-Plough's Temodar (temozolomide), a standard treatment for brain cancer, may boost the aggressiveness of surviving cancer cells, making tumor recurrence more likely, a new study suggests. Report

> After taking a writedown on goodwill, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals reported a fourth quarter loss that swelled to $77 million--up from $27.9 million from the year before. Report

> Proteon Therapeutics has more than $550 million riding on its mid-stage trial of its blood-vessel dilating therapy. Report

> Collaboration seems to be the name of the game as companies try to find ways to support innovative research while cutting expenses. Among the latest ventures is a open access data sharing platform being developed at Merck. Report

> Bradmer Pharmaceuticals is cutting 13 jobs--70 percent of its staff--suspending enrollment in a clinical trial and shelving the contract manufacturing of Neuradiab, an experimental therapy for brain cancer. Report

> Bristol-Myers Squibb has forged a deal to pay two Japanese developers up to $385 million for the right to collaborate on a new, early-stage drug that is intended to help people who suffer from an irregular heart beat. Report

> Adam Feuerstein, the irreverent biotech analyst at TheStreet, has identified 10 key upcoming events he says will play a leading role in determining how well biotech stocks perform as we move from a cold winter to spring. Report

> A new international joint venture formed with a Korean biotech company has helped gin $400,000 in fresh funds for Advanced Cell Technology. Report

> A modified smallpox vaccine has proven extraordinarily effective in guarding mice against bird flu. And a team of scientists in Hong Kong and the U.S. say that it promises to offer a cheap supply of vaccine to guard against a pandemic. Report

> The Swiss vaccine developer GlycoVaxyn has ginned $22 million for its Series B round. Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners led the round with Index Ventures and Sofinnova Partners joining in. Report

> A team of researchers led by Scripps Professor Carlos Barbas, III, Ph.D., report a new method of vaccination can provide instant protection against a pathogen. Report

And Finally... Patients with severe asthma benefited from injections of GlaxoSmithKline's antibody drug candidate Bosatria (mepolizumab). Report

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