ImClone launches Erbitux in Japan; Shionogi gets OK for Sciele buyout

> ImClone has launched the metastatic colorectal cancer drug Erbitux in Japan; it will be distributed there by Merck KGaA. Imclone release

> Shionogi and Sciele announced that antitrust regulators have approved their merger, via a $31-a-share tender offer from Shionogi. Release

> A U.K. women paying for her own Nexavar found that the National Health Service--which won't pay for the drug--is making a profit on her purchases. Report

> Bone-strengthening drugs such as Fosamax can help prevent the bone loss that's sometimes a side effect of hormone-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, a new study showed. Report

> Two mental health advocacy organizations plan to lobby Vermont lawmakers for more transparency in the relationship between Vermont's medical field and the pharmaceutical industry. Report

> Tylenol is one of the most common drugs given to babies--but a new study shows that it might increase the risk of asthma later in life. Report

> Biotechs that produce genetically engineered animals for drugs should prepare to stay in close contact with the FDA. The agency wants to know about any snippets of DNA introduced into an animal's genetic code and how those changes could affect an animal's health. Report

> Memory Pharmaceuticals is slashing more than half of its workforce as it restructures and focuses on clinical development. Half of those jobs will be cut immediately with the other half coming over the next six months. Report

> BTG is buying out Protherics for $388 million in a merger deal that will create the UK's biggest biotech company. In the all-stock buyout, Protherics' shareholders will receive 0.291 new BTG shares for each of their Protherics shares. Report

> In an unusual head-to-head study, researchers for Johnson & Johnson's Centocor announced that their experimental therapy for psoriasis outperformed the leading biologic therapy in eliminating red, scaly skin patches. Report

> MedImmune's ex-CEO, David Mott, is starting a new career as a venture capitalist. He's been named a general partner at New Enterprise Associates, a busy investor in the biotech field. Mott says he will focus on biotechnology and specialty pharma. Report

> Sanofi pasteur is mounting a mid-stage trial involving 120 patients at 23 centers to test the efficacy of a new melanoma vaccine. Report

> Shares of France's Transgene jumped about 10 percent on Monday after new data from a Phase IIb trial of TG4010 demonstrated a survival benefit for non-small cell lung cancer patients. Report

And Finally... The ten most common mistakes small biotechs make--and what you can do to avoid them. Report

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