Janssen reps sue, alleging off-label Risperdal push; MannKind to buy Pfizer plant in Frankfurt;

> Janssen Pharmaceuticals directed sales personnel to promote schizophrenia drug Risperdal for off-label uses such as treatment of bipolar disorder and depression to increase sales of the product, according to sworn statements from three former sales employees at the Johnson & Johnson unit. Report

> MannKind agreed to buy Pfizer's insulin facility in Frankfurt, Germany, for $33 million, planning to retain "more than half" the current workforce. Release l Report

> Sepracor said Friday that its insomnia drug Lunesta did not reach its main goal in a clinical trial that tested it as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder. Release l Report

> AstraZeneca and Shire were among the pharmaceutical stocks to receive a shot in the arm this morning as investors took cheer from news of the Merck/Schering-Plough merger. Report

> Bulgarian drugmaker Sopharma got the nod from securities regulators to list its shares abroad, on an unspecified "regulated market in the European Union." Report

> With initial efficacy data from late-stage studies due in the third quarter, AEterna Zentaris has inked a $165 million licensing deal with Sanofi-aventis for cetrorelix, a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Article

> Oncologists said that overall survival was the key benefit they used to evaluate treatments for high-grade glioma, an approach that favors the Roche/Genentech drug Avastin over Schering Plough's Temodar, a Decision Resources survey found. Release

> Ranbaxy Laboratories got final FDA approval to sell its version of the King Pharmaceuticals cardiovascular drug Altace, the third approval for Ranbaxy's New Jersey group Ohm Laboratories in two months. Report

> Forest Laboratories and Spain's Almirall say that a planned NDA filing for their new COPD drug will be delayed for an uncertain amount of time after the FDA made it clear that the developers will need to conduct additional studies on aclidinium bromide. Article

> Danish biotech Symphogen is joining with Emeryville, CA-based Origen Therapeutics to develop a transgenic chicken that can produce human antibodies. Story

> MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals, a developer and marketer of anti-infective products, has reported net loss of $11.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared to a net loss of $9.1 million in the corresponding period of 2007. Report

> It's time to forget about mergers and acquisitions and start focusing on partnerships and acquisitions--or P&A, according to the analysts at Leerink Swann, which specializes in healthcare stock. Article

> Bradmer Pharmaceuticals has opted to cut back as it loses hope in finding new operating capital. Bradmer is cutting 70 percent of its staff, suspending enrollment in a clinical trial and shelving the manufacturing of brain cancer med Neuradiab. Story

> Collaboration seems to be the name of the game as companies try to find ways to support innovative research while cutting expenses. Among the latest ventures is a open access data sharing platform being developed at Merck. Report

And Finally... A vaginal anti-inflammatory found in vegetable oil, glycerol monolaurate, may protect women from HIV transmission, scientists said. Report

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