Glaxo offloads $256M Quest stake; Dr Reddy's pulls out of 25 markets;

> GlaxoSmithKline has sold a $256 million stake in Quest Diagnostics, bringing Glaxo's holdings down from approximately 19.6 percent to 16.5 percent, almost half its original stake in the company. Report

> Generics maker Upsher-Smith Laboratories had its profit-sharing plan's assets frozen last week in the aftermath of the Bernie Madoff investing scandal; the company had invested some--or perhaps all--of the plan's funds with Madoff's firm. Report

> Dr Reddy's Laboratories, one of India's top pharma companies, is exiting all but 15 of the 40 markets globally where it was selling low-cost, generic medicines. Report

> Johnson & Johnson was upgraded to buy from neutral at UBS, which cited the potential long-term opportunities from its rivaroxaban drug after an FDA panel said the drug has a favorable risk-benefit profile. Report

> Michigan Democrats are trying to change the state's unusual law that shields drugmakers from legal liability if their products were approved by the FDA. Report

> Noven and Shire announced that they are recalling certain lots of the Daytrana patch, used to treat ADHD, because the release liner on some of the patches were difficult to remove. Release

> ViroPharma continues to fight the FDA's framework for testing generic versions of its lead product, Vancocin, the only approved drug to treat C. difficile colitis. Report

> Healthcare company investor MDY Healthcare has agreed to acquire two quoted healthcare investments -- stakes in Prostrakan and Santhera Pharmaceuticals -- from private equity group 3i for about $4.3 million. Report

> Questcor finished its supplemental filing for the FDA, which requests approval for its H.P. Acthar Gel for the treatment of infantile spasms. Release

> An expert panel at the FDA voted 10 to 3 in favor of recommending approval of Sanofi-Aventis' new heart drug Multaq. Report

> Douglas McIntyre at 24/7 Wall Street sees some big changes in the M&A market, with Roche's acquisition of Genentech highlighting a whole new approach to big acquisitions. Report

> With employees preparing to move into a gleaming new headquarters building, the chief executive at Durham, NC-based Quintiles Transnational sees some big opportunities coming up as the biopharma industry undergoes a head-to-toe makeover. Report

> A large team of European scientists has created genetically modified tobacco plants that can produce biologically-active interleukin-10, a potent anti-inflammatory cytokine that can be used to treat inflammatory diseases like diabetes. Report

> Irvine, CA-based Cortex Pharmaceuticals is joining the ever-growing list of biotech companies opting to restructure. The developer is handing out pink slips to half of its workforce, cutting executive salaries as well as research work and scrambling to raise money from a new round of deals. Report

> Rockville, MD-based Emergent Biosolutions says it plans to add up to 93 and invest $10.9 million in improvements at its Lansing, Michigan facility. Report

> An experimental vaccine cut the rate of cytomegalovirus infections in young women by half in a mid-stage trial, and the researchers involved say that it may well significantly reduce instances of a major cause of birth defects. Report

> Stymied by a fruitless 25-year search for an AIDS vaccine, some investigators are taking a radically different approach to protecting people from a virus that claims more than two million victims each year. Report

> Investigators at Rice University say that they have devised a computational method that offers a faster and cheaper way to determine the formula for each new flu vaccine. And they say that the new approach could work with bird flu vaccines as well. Report

And Finally... A surprising, yet perhaps revolting, treatment for leg ulcers works as well as the usual approach: maggots. Report

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