Merck exhausts options for Dutch unit; Mylan launches Vfend copycat;

 @FiercePharma: Obama budget aims to speed generics to market. Story |  Follow @FiercePharma

> Merck said it had been unable to sell its Netherlands-based bioscience research unit Organon or find an alternative solution to avoid closing it down, saying that talks had not resulted in a suitable deal. Item

> Icahn Capital disclosed that Massachusetts-based biotechnology companies Genzyme and Biogen Idec are among the famed activist investor Carl Icahn's top holdings. Report

> A Jefferies & Co. analyst downgraded Cephalon shares, saying patents on pain drug Fentora may be overturned, and the company's next batch of drug candidates won't reach the market for a long time. Article

> Mylan launched its version of the Pfizer antifungal drug Vfend under a previously announced settlement and license agreement. News

> Pacific Biomarkers sees surge in revenue, but profits fall short. Item

> CSL reported first-half profit that beat analyst estimates as gains from a competitor's recall helped offset a drop in swine-flu vaccine sales. Story

> Tiny sponges offer a big new net for biomarkers. Report 

> Spectrum Pharmaceuticals expects to post quarterly revenue nearly twice analysts' estimates, helped by strong sales of its cancer drugs Zevalin and Fusilev. Report

> AstraZeneca is in talks with "a couple of potential occupiers" for the 69-acre R&D site in Loughborough, England, that it plans to abandon. Article

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Obama proposal would shorten exclusivity period. News | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: MannKind pres Hakan Edstrom reads Mann quote, claims he was "misquoted and mischaracterized" on commitment to company after call with analysts.  Follow @JohnCFierce

> Adventrx shares slip after FDA hands back NDA. Story

> Sanofi finally nails $20B+ deal to buy Genzyme. Report 

> Organon R&D hub faces shutdown as Merck fails to close a deal. News 

> Banks divvying up $125M in fees in wake of Sanofi-Genzyme merger. Item 

> Upstart Versartis nabs $21M in Series B cash. Article

Drug Delivery News

> Catalent adds fast-dissolve tech to oral dose arsenal. Item 

> Depomed gastric pill swells investor interest. Report 

> Capsugel injects molding tech into oral forms. News

> Magnet-driven capsules boost delivery precision. Article 

> Pills top other drug forms in nursing home study. Story

Medical Device News

> Study finds majority of recalls come from 510(k) processed devices. Item

> Steris hit with FDA warning letter. Article

> Synthes cautious despite encouraging results. Item 

> PerkinElmer acquires German firm. News 

And Finally... An essential protein for normal stem cell renewal also promotes the growth of breast cancer stem cells when it's overproduced, researchers found, but two drugs may help thwart formation of tumor-initiating cells. Report

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