Gilead faces securities fraud claims; Europe weighs Tysabri label change

> On the same day that the FDA approved Gilead Sciences' anti-HIV drug Viread for hepatitis B treatment, a federal appeals court reinstated a securities-fraud suit that claims the company inflated its stock price by illegally marketing unapproved uses of that drug, including for hepatitis B treatment. Report

> Europe's pharma regulators say they're assessing the two reports of brain disease in patients taking the Biogen Idec/Elan multiple sclerosis med Tysabri to determine whether to update the drug's label. Report

> Elan has received first-round bids for its drug delivery business Elan Drug Technologies, and is hoping for a quick sale. Report

> Sanofi-Aventis sued Canadian generic-drug maker Apotex, which is planning to sell a low-cost version of the cancer drug Taxotere in the U.S. Report

> Biovail swung to a $25.3 million loss in the second quarter, weighed down by declining revenue and charges related to its shift in focus to central nervous system disorders. Report

> A combination of two cheap existing drugs -- the chemo med doxorubicin andn osteoporosis drug zoledronic acid -- could offer a new method of treating breast cancer. Report

> St. Jude Medical got the FDA nod to sell a neurostimulation device, EonC, for treating chronic pain. Report

> Shire has accumulated 81 percent of the shares in Germany's Jerini since July 3, when the British company announced its bid; today, Shire published a new offering document for the remaining shares. Report

> India's Sun Pharma got the FTC's approval to buy Taro Pharmaceuticals provided Sun sells the rights to three generic formulations of a commonly used epilepsy med. Report

> West Virginia is the most medicated state in the U.S., using more retail prescription meds per capita than any other state, according to a ranking in Forbes. Report

> Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb said they approve of the U.K.'s announced review of its treatment protocols on cardiovascular disease. Release

> South Africa's health department is investigating the recent withdrawal of two tuberculosis meds supplied by Pharmascript; it's the second recall in less than a week of substandard meds in that country. Report

> An investigative team at Johns Hopkins has been studying a woman whose natural immunity has quelled the virus she was infected with 10 years ago. Report

> A team of scientists at Newcastle University is preparing a small human trial to test a one-shot approach to curing rheumatoid arthritis with a vaccine devised from a patient's white blood cells. Report

> H5N1 isn't the only avian virus that threatens to trigger a pandemic. A group of virologists was able to make an H9 virus much more transmissible by changing a single chemical component in the hemagglutinin protein, which allows the virus to attach to cells. Report

> Scientists at the University of Michigan are moving closer to human trials of a new nanoemulsion hepatitis B vaccine that could revolutionize therapy in the third world. Report

> As expected, Genentech turned down Roche's $43.7 billion bid for all outstanding shares, but made it clear that a sweetened offer could win a nod. Report

> Looking to elbow its way to a larger share of the global plasma product market, Australia's CSL has agreed to buy Talecris Biotherapeutics for $3.1 billion. Report

> Anthera Pharmaceuticals has completed a $19 million venture round and plans to use the funds to advance its work on anti-inflammatory drugs. Report

> Geron and Exeter Life Sciences have created a joint venture--Start Licensing Inc.--to manage intellectual property rights revolving around animal reproductive technology, a field that includes animal cloning. Report

> Diakron Pharmaceuticals has simultaneously struck a pair of deals to in-license a Phase I oral anti-coagulant therapy from Merck while signing India's Orchid Chemicals as a development partner for the program. Report