Merck asks NJ judge to toss discrimination suit mid-trial; Amgen closes in on EU backing for PCSK9 med;

@FiercePharma: FDA proposes new rules for animal drug compounding. FierceAnimalHealth story | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: #FDA blesses Baxter #saline plant in Spain for shipments to U.S. of 0.9% sodium chloride. More | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: Actavis wins more hearts on Wall Street as 'top 4' Morgan Stanley pick. News | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Merck & Co. ($MRK) asked a New Jersey federal judge to toss out gender discrimination claims against the company, 12 days into a jury trial. Report

> Amgen ($AMGN) may win EU backing this week for its hotly anticipated PCSK9 drug Repatha (evolocumab), one in a new generation of cholesterol fighters. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) failed to block a copy of its respiratory drug Seretide, sold as Advair in the U.S., in an Irish trademark lawsuit over the AirFluSal inhaler's design. Report

> The World Health Organization rejected Novartis' ($NVS) vision drug Lucentis, instead backing Roche's ($RHHBY) cheaper Avastin, which is approved as a cancer drug, but often used off-label in the eye. Report

> Hepatitis C patient advocates announced challenges to Gilead Sciences ($GILD) patents in 5 countries--Argentina, Brazil, China, Russia and Ukraine--in a bid to open access to its next-gen treatments. Release

> The French drugmaker Ipsen paid $56 million for Octreopharm, which is developing radiopharmaceutical treatments for neuroendocrine tumors. Report

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: MD Anderson Cancer Center partners to start breast cancer pilot project using Apple Watch. More | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: EuroPCR TAVR updates: Edwards' Sapien 3 looking good, Direct Flow jostling for position, and more (from $MDT & $BSX). News | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: Cypher teams up with biotech titan Celgene for companion diagnostics collaboration. Article | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> China's Sinocare interested in buying Bayer diabetes device unit. More

> Eli Lilly leads Series B for startup with connected insulin pen, smartphone app combo. News

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: J&J buys into Achillion's hep C pipeline for up to $1.1B. Story | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: $ACHN down 3% -- disappointed investors hoping for a phenom buyout? Strange times when a $1.1B development deal looks weak. #biotech | Follow @JohnCFierce

> Genocea's herpes vaccine hits the mark in Phase II. Article

> Spurned by AstraZeneca, is Pfizer out for GlaxoSmithKline? Item

Pharma Marketing News

> Medivation's Xtandi sales fell short in Q1, but analysts say it's gaining on J&J's Zytiga. Report

> GSK pumps out big bucks for Flonase OTC launch. More

> Awareness isn't enough: Pharma needs to focus on action campaigns. Story

> Litany of side effects in DTC ads 'a waste of time' for patients, top FDA official says. Article

> Report: When it comes to overall patient care, Eylea gets the pricing edge over rival Lucentis. Item

Biotech Research News

> Prothena's university collaborators tout the success of a preclinical MS therapy. More

> UC Irvine researchers use transplanted neurons to rejuvenate mouse brains. Story

> Liverpool scientists point to a new heart therapy for deadly pneumonia toxin. Article

> Telomerase study points researchers to targeted cancer drugs. Item

> UIC team spurs fresh hope for an islet-cell cure for Type 1 diabetes. Report

Diagnostics News

> Broad Institute gets $10M to study genetics of cancer drug resistance. More

> Illumina slaps Roche's Ariosa with a prenatal testing IP suit. Report

> Cypher teams up with biotech titan Celgene for companion diagnostics collaboration. Story

> Roche snags FDA CLIA waiver for rapid Strep A test. Item

> Veracyte reveals positive numbers for lung cancer test in NEJM. Article

And Finally... The Massachusetts compounding pharmacy behind the deadly meningitis outbreak in 2012 will shell out $200 million to victims and creditors under a bankruptcy reorganization plan approved Tuesday. Report