GSK, Archemix forge $1.42B collaboration; CRO PharmaNet may sell business;

> Archemix has inked a deal to collaborate with GlaxoSmithKline to develop new aptamer drugs. Archemix gets $27.5 million in upfront payments from GSK--including a $6.5 million equity investment. And the developer is eligible for up to $200 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments for each of seven aptamer therapeutics. Archemix would also receive tiered royalties up to lower double digits on worldwide sales of products that may result from the alliance. Report

> Princeton, NJ-based CRO PharmaNet Development Group said it's talking with a financial advisor to pursue "strategic alternatives," including the possible sale of the company. Report

> A federal appeals court sentenced Robert Arledge, a claimant attorney in litigation over Wyett's diet pills, to six years in prison and ordered him to pay $5.8 million for false claims regarding fen-phen diet pills. Report

> The FDA is warning consumers that some diet pills found on the web contain undeclared prescription-strength medicines in them that could put people's health at risk. Report

> A former state pharmacist might face five years in prison and $10,000 in fines, following a felony conflict-of-interest conviction for taking payments from drug companies. Report

> Pfizer made the WSJ's worst ad list, with its TV and print ads staring Roert Jarvik, a non-practicing physician who pushed Lipitor in the ads. Report

> The FDA has asked AstraZeneca for more information regarding its application for Seroquel, the company's depression medication. Report

> Dr. Reddy's has settled a patent dispute and as of 2012 will be selling generic versions of Clarinex-D 12 Hour, Clarinex-D 24 Hour and Clarinex Reditabs. Report

> Senators will be investigating whether groundwater pollution that Merck & Co. has caused has resulted in illnesses in Merced residents. Report

> Takeda says it is facing an eight-month delay before it gets an FDA decision on its new diabetes drug. The drug company says that the agency has set a decision date of June 26, 2009 for alogliptin, a DPP-4 inhibitor. Report

> On the same day that troubled Avigen was outlining its restructuring efforts and search for a buyer of all or party of the company, MediciNova says it sent the developer a buyout offer. Report

And Finally... Apparently the U.S. recession is prompting more people to volunteer to become research subjects to earn some cash to help pay their bills. Options for the non-patients include a variety of experiemental research studies for conditions such as epilepsy and obesity, and may pay as much as $5,000. The drawbacks? Side effect and adverse reaction risks, of course. Report