Germany's Merck nixes Russian marketing deal with Takeda; Alcon, J&J score new FDA approvals;

@FiercePharma: Abaxis scores strong earnings on record veterinary sales. FierceAnimalHealth story | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: FTC approves Sun Pharma Ranbaxy merger. Ranbaxy to sell its minocycline business to Torrent. More | Follow @EricPFierce

> Merck Serono is taking back responsibility for diabetes and thyroid brands in Russia that it had turned over to Takeda Pharmaceutical for marketing. Release

> Alcon won FDA approval for eye drug Pazeo, a one-drop daily med used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. Statement

> Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Janssen unit scored the FDA's blessing for HIV fighter Prezcobix, which combines its own Prezista drug with Gilead's ($GILD) Tybost (cobicistat) . Release

> Pharma execs are more supportive of the FDA evaluating a drug on both clinical and economic data than they were in 2010, according to a new survey. Story

> AstraZeneca ($AZN) is planning to have 1,000 employees run its global SAP estate by 2016, with operations centralized at a new technology center in Chennai, India. Article

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: ICYMI: Stomach-draining obesity startup gets $12M in debt to support PMA in mid-2015. Report | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: ICYMI: Zimmer CEO says Biomet merger to close soon and result in $270M of synergies. Article | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: Medical experts question procedures for peripheral artery disease amid Medicare payment surges. Article | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> With Covidien deal in the bag, Omar Ishrak urges Medtronic employees to stay focused on the company mission. More

> Medtronic touts study results in support of its defibrillator tech. Article

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Acorda cautiously steps forward with a drug to spur remyelination in MS. Story | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Biotech guru Gregory Verdine lands $18M round for new WaVe drug developer. Article | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: Cannot help but read Theravance's ticker, $TBPH, as "to be perfectly honest." | Follow @DamianFierce

> Lilly and Boehringer win FDA approval for a combo diabetes drug. Item

> AstraZeneca partner Ardelyx plunges after citing safety issue for lead drug. Article

> Gene therapy pioneer bluebird bags a 'breakthrough' title for lead program. News

Biotech IT News

> Biogen taps Google's data analytics skills for MS research. News

> Duke moves into new digs to support Google Baseline collaboration. Item

> 21st Century Cures Act lays out vision for sharing health data with R&D. Story

> Obama puts giant database at the heart of precision medicine plan. Report

> Alexion enlists BioXcel for data dive in search of next Soliris. Article

CRO News

> Post-merger Simbec-Orion inks two Phase III deals. Article

> Drugmakers look to India for drug safety monitoring. Item

> Belgian CRO genae buys an eClinical outfit. News

> Icon adding 200 jobs with a new Irish R&D outpost. Story

> Parexel dials down its 2015 expectations and takes the long view. Report

Animal Health News

> European regulators chart record year for new animal health products. Item

> Abaxis scores strong earnings on record veterinary sales. Story

> Report: Activist investor Ackman pushing for Zoetis board positions. More

> Virus linked to hemorrhagic fever found in Florida ticks. Report

> Diagnostics makers face regulatory, cost hurdles in animal health market. Article

And Finally… Scientists are delving into psychedelics as treatments for common mental disorders, 40 years after the Nixon administration shut down research on the drugs. Story