ImClone, BMS pull new-use app for Erbitux; GSK hopeful of NICE nod on Tyverb;

> ImClone Systems and Bristol-Myers Squibb are withdrawing an application to market Erbitux for advanced non-small cell lung cancer; the companies plan to resubmit after resolving some chemistry manufacturing issues. Release l Report

> Up for a second review under the National Institute for Clinical Excellence's new end-of-life drug evaluation system, GlaxoSmithKline's breast cancer treatment Tyverb could gain a blessing this time. Report

> Three former Purdue Frederick execs who pleaded guilty to misdemeanors tied to the marketing of the painkiller OxyContin can't do business with Medicare or Medicaid for 15 years, the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General said. Report

> Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals inked a deal for Perrigo to distribute new generic versions of its products in the U.S. Release

> Impax Laboratories' generic drug division Global Pharmaceuticals got the final FDA nod for its version of AstraZeneca's ulcer/GERD drug Prilosec 40 mg delayed-release Capsules. Report

> The Swedish generic pharmaceutical company Bluefish Pharmaceuticals has now launched its first products on the German market, a key step in its quest to become a pan-European pharma. Report

> In a period of just over two years, between October 2006 and December 2008, the proportion of adults who would choose generic drugs in preference to brand name prescription drugs has increased to 81 percent from 68 percent. Report

> For the fourth year in a row, Genentech has topped Fortune's list of Best Employers. According to Fortune, the company was given high marks for resisting Roche's takeover bid, as well as implementing retention bonuses and severance packages for anyone terminated after a merger. Report

> The UK's biotech industry--which has suffered greatly in the ongoing financial crisis--is calling for government tax incentives and other measures to support the struggling sector. Report

> As small biotechs struggle to obtain critical funding, more developers are turning to nonprofit groups for financial support. Report

> Catapult Bio, a spin-off of the Translational Genomics Research Institute, has received a $14 million grant from Abraxis Bioscience. Report

> The FDA has approved the first trial of a therapy derived from embryonic stem cells. The trial--run by Menlo Park, CA-based Geron--will test GRNOPC1 in patients with acute spinal cord injury. Report

> Rockville, Maryland-based Novavax has laid off 18 employees, about 20 percent of its workforce. The clinical stage biotech company said its focusing its resources on advancing its lead programs and developing partnerships. Report

> Looking to cut overhead and focus on its lead drug program, Connecticut-based Penwest Pharmaceuticals is reducing its staff from 60 to 49. Report

> Lexicon Pharmaceuticals announced a new restructuring plan Thursday, which includes a 22 percent reduction in its workforce. The 102 positions cut will be primarily in basic research, early-stage discovery and support positions, the company's statement said.  Report

 Emerging Drug Developer: Axikin Pharmaceuticals

And Finally... Caloric restriction may only extend the lives of chubby mice, not normal humans. Release