King extends Alpharma tender offer; Abbott announces $5B stock buyback;

> King Pharmaceuticals extended its $37-a-share tender offer for Alpharma through Nov. 21; by Friday, about 45 percent of the company's outstanding shares had been tendered. King release

> Abbott Laboratories will buy back up to $5 billion in stock under a newly announced share buyback program; the company had 1.54 billion shares outstanding at a closing price of $49.45 on Friday. Abbott release

> The family of a U.S. soldier blames the malaria drug Lariam for his suicide, and an Army psychiatrist suggests the medication was a factor in the man's death. Report

> A group of CEOs is hoping to save companies time and money by improving the legal contracts required to initiate cancer trials. Report

> The Indian government plans to open generic drug stores in eleven states in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry, state governments and non-governmental organizations, aiming to make drugs available at cheaper prices on a mass scale. Report

> Jerini and Shire have reviewed Jerini's assets and have elected to divest Jerini Ophthalmic, JPT Peptide Technologies and Jerini's pre-clinical projects. Jerini report

> A subsidiary of German drugmaker Schwarz Pharma Manufacturing will upgrade its manufacturing and distribution facility in Seymour, Ind., adding 150 jobs over the next three years. Report

> India's Wockhardt announced that it has in-licensed dermatology and dental programs from he UK-based company Sinclair Pharma. Wockhardt report

> The FDA informed Takeda that it will miss the review deadline for alogliptin, a type 2 diabetes treatment. The NDA was supposed to be reviewed by October 7, 2008, but will be delayed due to "internal resource constraints" at the agency. FDA report

> Wyeth is putting the finishing touches on its regulatory application for Prevnar-13, the latest generation in a series of jabs that defend against pneumococcal disease. The applications will be filed in the U.S. and Europe early next year. Wyeth report

> More evidence that pre-priming a population with avian flu jabs would help mount a rapid response to any outbreak in the future. British researchers tested the approach on a group of patients who had been vaccinated between 1999 and 2001. After being given a new avian flu vax, 80 percent of them demonstrated an immune response after just one week. Vaccines report

And Finally... Attention Chardonnay drinkers: White wines may offer heart benefits similar to reds. Report