Jazz Pharma cuts 67 jobs on sales decline; King painkiller likely to get FDA nod;

> Palo Alto, CA-based Jazz Pharmaceuticals said it is cutting 67 jobs due to sluggish sales of its antidepressant Luvox. There was some good news in the company's earnings report, however. Jazz posted a narrower-than-expected Q3 loss due to increased sales of narcolepsy drug Xyrem. Report

> FDA staffers have expressed concern that Alpharma's powerful painkiller Embeda could be abused even though the company designed the drug not to be. Release

> Phytofarm announced that its CEO, Daryl Rees, and Chief Financial Officer, Piers Morgan, have resigned, effectively immediately. Release

> GlaxoSmithKline reassured employees at a Beckenham, England, plant that their facility will remain open; rumors of a possible closure had arisen after the company announced it would axe 620 jobs at its Dartford site. Report

> After an FDA advisory panel recommended approval for an abuse-resistant form of oxycodone pitched by King Pharmaceuticals and Pain Therapeutics analysts said the drug probably will get the agency's OK, but sales potential could be hampered by labeling. Report

> India's Wockhardt got the FDA nod for its midazolam injection, a generic version of the drug Versed, used to treat insomnia and anxiety. Report

> Watson Pharmaceuticals said federal health officials should make a decision on a long-lasting version of its prostate cancer drug Trelstar by third quarter 2009. Report

> Wyeth Pharmaceuticals got FDA approval to market its Premarin hormonal cream to treat painful sexual intercourse in postmenopausal women. Release

> MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals saw slight declines in its revenue and net income in the third quarter, but officials have drawn up ambitious goals for the company in the next two years, including quadrupling sales revenue and reaching profitability. Report

> Pro-Pharmaceuticals said its board of directors has approved a rights offering to its shareholders, under which the company will distribute non-tradable rights to purchase common stock and warrants. Release

> Speaking at an event in Canada late last month, the Nobel Prize winning pioneer of HPV research, Dr. Harald sur Hausen, called for the vaccination of men as well. Report

> San Diego-based Metabasis said today that it would close its Ann Arbor facility and cut 35 jobs--30 percent of its workforce--in the process. Like so many other small drug developers, Metabasis said the is a move to preserve cash and reduce ongoing expenses. Report

> The relationship between Pharma and academia has changed, report Chemical & Engineering News. Pharma and biotech companies now recognize the value of having a closer relationship with the labs that are doing the earliest, ground-breaking research. In these newer pacts, scientists from both sides interact on a regular basis, and oftentimes their lab space is close by. This, supporters say, encourages a free flow of ideas and research. Report

And Finally... Looking to improve older folks' quality of life, Mexico City is giving out free impotence drugs to men 70 and older. Report