MedImmune doubles HQ for growing workforce; UK set to switch Flomax to OTC;

> To handle the hundreds of new hires tallied from 2008 and envisioned for 2009, MedImmune plans to nearly double its 361,000-square-foot Maryland headquarters in the next three years. Report

> The UK looks set to be the first country in the world to switch Boehringer Ingelheim's Flomax to non-prescription status for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Report

> Germany's Merck KGaA won EU approval to extend the use of Erbitux (cetuximab) to include first-line treatment of patients with recurrent and/or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Report

> Abbott/Eisai's Humira is poised to overtake Centocor/Schering-Plough/Mitsubishi Tanabe's Remicade as the Crohn's disease market leader by 2012, according to a new report from Decision Resources. Release

> Generics maker Actavis said it has received FDA approval to market its version of Wellbutrin XL 150mg tablets, and that it has started distributing the product. Release

> Impax, another generics firm, got final FDA approval for its own version of Wellbutrin XL 150mg tablets and has launched the product. Report

> Sanofi-Aventis signed a three-year contract to extend the use of Advanced Chemistry Development's software throughout its R&D sites worldwide. Report

> Although they've fallen from the record highs posted in August, biotech stocks aren't as risky as many fear--or expensive, says a report by Barron's. Report

> Shares of Switzerland's Basilea Pharmaceutica were hammered after the developer announced that it faced a major delay in gaining an approval from the FDA for its antibiotic ceftobiprole. Report

> The UK's Stem Cell Sciences, which has been commercializing stem cell technology, asked for a temporary suspension in the trading of its shares as it reviews a lineup of strategic options that include a possible sale of assets, refinancing and a merger. Report

> Poniard Pharmaceuticals says it will take a look at "strategic alternatives" for the developer's preclinical development program, a decision that triggered the departure of Dr. David Karlin, the head of clinical development. Report

> Shares of Belgium's Galapagos surged on the news that it had partnered with Germany's MorphoSys AG to develop antibodies for bone and joint diseases. Report

And Finally... A drop in blood potassium levels caused by diuretics prescribed for high blood pressure could be the reason why people on those drugs are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Release