Investors snap up IMS Health for $5.2B; Amgen cancer med fails to boost overall survival in study;

> IMS Health, a data provider to the pharmaceutical industry, is to be acquired by TPG and Canada Pension Plan for $5.2 billion. Report

> Amgen's cancer drug Vectibix in combination with chemo failed to improve overall survival in metastatic colorectal cancer patients, in spite of significantly prolonging progression-free survival. Release

> Johnson & Johnson's record-setting $1.7 billion TNF-alpha patent verdict against Abbott Laboratories has held up so far in court, despite the latter's post-trial motions. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline won approval from the World Health Organization for its pneumococcal vaccine Synflorix, clearing the way for it to be given to children in the developing world. Report

> India's Aurobindo Pharma got the U.S. FDA nod for its version of GlaxoSmithKline's seizure drug Lamictal. Report

> Sun Pharmaceutical secured FDA approval for its copycat version of Allergan's Acular, used to treat ocular itching. Report

Biotech News

> Complete Genomics reported yesterday that it has successfully chipped away at the cost of sequencing a genome. Six years ago the cost was $300 million, a million smackers in 2007 and $60,000 last year. Now the company says its researchers completed the task at a cost of about $4,400 for the reagents needed to sequence three genomes. Article

> Tennessee-based Graceway Pharmaceuticals, a portfolio company of GTCR Golder Rauner, has acquired worldwide rights to a Gilead Sciences molecule. Graceway report

> Bethesda, MD-based Micromet has agreed to buy out MedImmune's North American rights to blinatumomab, a potential treatment for lymphoma and leukemia. Micromet report

> Bellevue, WA-based Light Sciences Oncology has garnered itself a $23.3 million line of credit, in addition to another $11.8 million in warrants. This comes after the company raised $40 million in venture capital in June 2008. Report

> Gloucester Pharmaceuticals said yesterday that the FDA has approved its lead drug Istodax (romidepsin) for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a rare skin malignancy. Report

And Finally... While healthcare experts debate comparative effectiveness, a hospital-and-clinic network in Utah and Idaho has translated its own effectiveness research into better patient care. Report

Virtual Clinical Trials Summit

Virtual Clinical Trials Summit: The Premier Educational Event Focused on Decentralized Clinical Trials

In this virtual environment, we will look at current and future trends for ongoing virtual trials, diving into the many ways companies can improve patient engagement and trial behavior to enhance retention with a focus on emerging technology and harmonized data access across the clinical trial system.