McKesson to pay $350M in AWP claims; Dr. Reddy's launches generic Imitrex;

> Drug distributor McKesson has entered a $350 million legal settlement in litigation over average wholesale pricing. Report

> Sanofi-Aventis was upped to overweight from equal-weight by Morgan Stanley, and the broker lifted its price target by one euro to 50 euros. Report

> Sandoz, the generics subsidiary of Novartis, received a positive opinion from European regulators for its third biosimilar medicine filgrastim, a natural man-made protein produced commercially by recombinant DNA technology. Report

> Last year was one of the bleakest on record in terms of new drug approvals. Only 18 new molecular entities were approved by the FDA--the lowest number since 1983. But In Vivo reports that this year promises to be slightly better. That's because the FDA has already approved 18 NMEs, and there are still six weeks left in the year. Report

> Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories announced that it has launched the authorized generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s migraine pill Imitrex (sumatriptan succinate) tablets in the United States. Release

> Despite starting the year off on a good note, CombinatoRx has announced its second round of layoffs in less than a month. The Cambridge-based company axed its workforce by another 30 employees, or 20 percent of its current staff--bringing total layoffs this month to 82, or 65 percent. Leaving the company with 55 employees, who will focus primarily on research and partnering. Report

> World Anti-Doping Agency boss John Fahey acknowledged that Pfizer's Viagra is being examined for its potential use as a performance-enhancing drug. Report

> The biotech bankruptcy used to be a rare animal. Struggling small developers were usually saved by deals or mergers with bigger, healthier drug companies. But the ongoing economic crisis had made a once-uncommon occurrence a very real possibility for many biotechs. Report 

> The FDA has approved the Novartis/Eisai drug Banzel (rufinamide) for the treatment of a severe form of epilepsy in adults and children aged four and over. Report

> The latest to announce restructuring and layoffs is San Diego-based Vical. In order to preserve capital and focus on its most advanced development programs, the biotech will reduce its workforce by 29 employees, approximately 20 percent of its total staff. Report

> Largo, Fla.-based GeoPharma expects to begin producing the antibiotic cephalosporin within 30 to 45 days, opening up a potential multimillion dollar market. Report

> Purdue Pharma and affiliate Mundipharma are buying 4 million shares of Infinity Pharmaceuticals for $45 million, or $11.25 per share (a 112 percent premium over Wednesday's close). Report

> Merrion Pharmaceuticals and Novo Nordisk have signed a $58 million deal to develop and commercialize oral insulin. Report

And Finally... Concerned that a growing number of drugs middlemen will create shortages for British patients, U.K. medicine distributors are to ask regulators to limit the number of companies authorized to sell drugs. Report

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