Gilead nabs deal with CV Therapeutics; Rituxan fails trial in lupus-induced nephritis;

> Gilead Sciences elbowed Astellas Pharma aside to snatch up CV Therapeutics for $20 a share in cash, or $1.4 billion. Report

> Genentech and Biogen Idec said their drug Rituxan failed to significantly reduce kidney inflammation caused by lupus, the main goal of a late-stage trial. Report

> Now that Sanofi-Aventis owns 96.8 percent of generics maker Zentiva, the Czech company will delist from the Prague Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange. Report

> Generics maker Actavis entered the Irish market this week, with plans to create up to 25 new local jobs over the next five years and to launch over 120 generic drugs in Ireland. Release

> Novartis India today said the board has accepted the resignation of Asha Mirchandani and Jesus Acebillo as directors on the board of the company. Report

> Connecticut-based private equity firm Olympus Partners has acquired pharma packaging firm Holopack International from the Hansen Corporate Group; the company will change its name to Ritedose. Report

> Hong Kong drugmaker Marching Pharmaceutical's manufacturing license has been suspended for one month for a government investigation after suspected errors were found in the labelling of its products. Report

> A bipartisan group of congressmen have introduced a bill that would create a simpler pathway for approving generic biotech drugs (or biogenerics). Report

> The FDA and Insmed have hammered out a deal that will allow a limited number of patients with Lou Gehrig's disease to receive doses of Iplex. That drug is approved for growth hormone deficiency but isn't marketed due to a patent dispute involving Genentech. Report

> Newsweek offers its take on the use of social networking sites to recruit people for clinical trials. Sites like Inspire.com create the patient networks, communities that suffer from various ailments, and drug developers can tap into them for the patients they need to test a drug. Report

> The U.S. economy may have fallen off a cliff last year, but drug R&D spending continued to surge upwards. A new survey on R&D reveals that research spending by U.S. biopharma companies jumped to $65.2 billion last year, an increase of $2 billion over the year before, according to analysis by Burrill & Co. and PhRMA. Report

> Vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur has abandoned its plans to set up operations in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, which is northwest of Philadelphia. Report

> Targacept's $1.5 billion licensing pact with GlaxoSmithKline has run into some turbulence. The developer announced this morning that one of the drugs involved in that pact--TC-6499 for neuropathic pain--was being dumped after the treatment failed a clinical trial. Report

> A bipartisan group of congressmen have introduced a bill that would create a simpler pathway for approving generic biotech drugs (or biogenerics). The bill, introduced by Henry Waxman and other Democrats and Republicans, is part of the Obama Administration's effort to lower the costs of the most expensive drugs. Report

> An experimental smallpox vaccine has demonstrated promising results in a new trial completed in Japan. Article

> Deerfield, IL-based Baxter International has confirmed that vaccine shipments sent to subcontractors in Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany were contaminated with live H5N1 avian flu viruses. Report

And Finally... Scientists have discovered how the toxoplasmosis parasite may trigger the development of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Release

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