Merck declares dividend, stock buybacks; Magazine predicts BMS won't be hit with spinoff tax;

> Merck declared a quarterly dividend of 38 cents and said it plans to buy back as much as $3 billion in stock. Report

> Bristol-Myers Squibb should not suffer a tax hit for splitting off Mead-Johnson, even if the smaller company is scooped up within the two-year "prohibited" period, CFO magazine says. Report

> The market for contract pharma manufacturing will grow to $33.7 billion by 2014, up from some $22.2 billion this year, Business Monitor predicts. Report

> Several dozen Indiana women are preparing to sue Pfizer over hormone replacement therapies and their possible links to breast cancer, joining some 950 other suits already pending. Report

> Novartis says its new cell culture plant in North Carolina could begin making vaccine adjuvant as early as next month. Report

Biotech News

> Novartis cut the ribbon on a new North Carolina vaccines facility to munch fanfare Tuesday. However, products from the plant won't hit the shelves for a couple of years. Furthermore, high-speed techniques that bypass the lengthy process of incubating viruses to make vaccine are years away, according to a  Wall Street Journal report. Story

> Glasgow Memory Clinic (GMC) is enrolling patients to test Dimebon--a promising candidate to treat Alzheimer's that might help improve a patient's memory, cognition and the ability to care for him or herself, BBC News reports. Report

> Wilmington, DE-based Incyte announced today that it will get a hefty $150 million up front and a $60 million milestone payment on a new licensing deal with Novartis that could be worth more than $1 billion. In one fell swoop, Novartis has added two hematology-oncology drug candidates to its pipeline. Report

> A new policy paper is highlighting ways to tailor open access and data sharing policies to fit the goals of research done in developing countries. Report

> After a two-year IPO drought, Cumberland Pharma ended the biotech dry spell earlier this year when it launched a successful IPO. Since then, six companies have pulled off what once seemed to be an impossible feat. So BNet Pharma asked bankers and venture capitalists who may be the next biotech IPO contenders. Here's a run-down of their picks. Report

> China Nuokang Bio-Pharmaceutical, a company focused on hematological and cardiovascular drugs, has filed an IPO and will offer 4.5 million American Depositary Shares on the Nasdaq exchange at a price between $10 and $12. Report

Biotech Research News

> Data from a 12-month Phase II stem cell study showed the first evidence that transplanting a potent form of adult stem cells into the heart muscle of subjects with severe angina results in less pain and an improved ability to walk, according to a Northwestern University report. Report

> Pfizer and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) recently announced that they have signed an agreement that will potentially lead to the discovery of compounds to treat human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and Chagas disease--all of which afflict vulnerable populations in the developing world. Report

> UCLA researchers have developed a nano device that can capture circulating cancer cells (CTCs) in a patient's blood. The new nano "fly paper" can grab cancer cells that have broken off from tumors, giving healthcare providers valuable information, from diagnosis to monitoring treatment effectiveness. Report

> Personal genomics company Knome has launched KnomeDISCOVERY, a fully integrated human genome sequencing and data processing service for researchers. Report

And Finally... As the debate over healthcare reform turns to competing House and Senate bills, PhRMA is running an ad asking seniors to call Sen. Joe Lieberman and urge him to support reform. Report