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

Suggested Articles

Amid Amgen's pricing war with Sanofi and Regeneron's Praluent, PCSK9 cholesterol fighter Repatha has shown a clinical benefit for HIV patients.

A month after the FDA approved it, Esperion's Nexletol showed it can lower cholesterol regardless of statin and ezitimibe treatment.

AstraZeneca's Farxiga can help prevent worsening or death in heart failure patients regardless of other therapies received, according to new data.