Hungary's Gedeon doubles Q2 profits; India-based Wockhardt defaults on foreign loans;

> Gedeon Richter, Hungary's biggest drugmaker, said second-quarter profit more than doubled, driven by rising sales in Russia and the U.S. and as the forint's decline increased the value of export sales. Report

> India's Wockhardt defaulted on its payments to foreign lenders and may now face a tough legal battle; the company is now one of India's biggest defaulters of overseas loans. Report

> Gilead Sciences announced the promotion of Gregg H. Alton to executive vice president, corporate and medical affairs; previously he was senior vice president and general counsel. Gilead release

> Calls for Genentech chairman Arthur Levinson to quit either the board of Apple or the board of Google are increasing, following Monday's news that Google CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down from Apple's board. Report

> FDA gave the nod to Kowa Pharmaceuticals' new statin drug Livalo (pitavastatin). FDA release

> Covance's late-stage development services unit helped the contract research organisation to a 7 percent increase in second quarter net revenues, ahead of expectations. Report

> Zeria Pharmaceutical, a Japanese drugmaker, agreed to buy Switzerland's Tillotts Pharma for 136 million Swiss francs ($128 million), gaining some rights for a medicine to treat ulcers in the rectum and colon. Report

> Bayer says it could have a solution to help ease the current shortage of acetonitrile, a solvent widely used in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Report

Biotech News

> Genzyme's struggles with production of its Gaucher disease drug Cerezyme are a boon to Shire Pharmaceuticals. Shire announced that a velaglucerase alfa hit endpoints in a Phase III trial, and that the FDA would allow doctors to begin prescribing the drug to make up for shortages of Genzyme's treatment. Report

> Biogen Idec has maintained silence as even as details are revealed about the deal about Elan Pharmaceuticals and Johnson and Johnson that will greatly impact the company's Tysabri franchise. But analysts speculate it's unlikely that Biogen stakeholders will keep silent for long. In fact, some anticipate a lengthy legal battle. Report

> Savient Pharmaceuticals announced on Sunday that the FDA issued a complete response letter for the drugmaker's gout drug Krystexxa (pegloticase), causing the company's shares to fall 38 percent in premarket trading on Monday. Report

Research News

> Two years ago the FDA rejected Novartis' Cox-2 inhibitor Prexige on concerns that the drug would cause liver damage in some patients. But Novartis is hoping to revive the drug with the help of a genetic test that would determine which patients would be at risk for liver damage, and which could safely take the drug. Report

> Harvard Medical School researchers have succeeded in converting mouse and human skin cells into brown fat cells--a discovery that may advance research on medicines to fight obesity and Type II diabetes. Report

> U.S. researchers searching for clues to help develop a better malaria vaccine believe they may have found the origin of disease. Malaria story

And Finally... A pair of studies suggest millions of kids aren't getting enough vitamin D, and that low levels are associated with health risks in adolescents. Report

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