Merck plots vax-lab expansion at Durham site; Endo agrees to buy HealthTronics for $223M;

 @FiercePharma: Pharma pay outpaces U.S. private-sector wage. Report | Follow @FiercePharma

> Live from BIO: The future of Pharma growth. Story

> Live From BIO: FDA center directors discuss upcoming challenges. Story

> Live From BIO: Burrill: Focus on patients, not molecules. Report

> Merck is continuing to expand its vaccine manufacturing operations in Durham, NC, with plans to start construction in August on a 40,000-square-foot testing lab expected to open in 2012 and employ up to 60 people. Report

> Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings agreed to acquire HealthTronics, a provider of urological products, through a tender offer worth $223 million. Report (sub. req.)

> Yet more marketing letters from the FDA: U.S. regulators warned Roche unit Genentech and Shire about misleading promotions for cancer and bowel drugs, letters released on Wednesday said. Report

> The Vermont legislature is at odds over whether drugmakers should be required to report the free samples they distribute to doctors. Report

> Greece's new drug price regulations introduced this week are designed to save 1.9 billion euros annually, the government has announced. Report

> Danish drugmaker Lundbeck posted an unexpected rise in first-quarter profit as it sold more than expected of its cash-cow drug escitalopram (Lexapro in the U.S.), and said it still expects improving results this year. Report

> Glenmark Pharmaceuticals' generics unit said it has entered into an exclusive license and supply agreement for a branded product with a unit of Taro Pharmaceutical Industries. Report (sub. req.)

> Watson Pharmaceuticals said it asked for FDA approval to make a generic version of Abbott Laboratories' Simcor, sparking a patent lawsuit. Report

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: Live from BIO: What do biotech VCs want? Report | Follow @FierceBiotech 

 @JohnCFierce: Ariad CEO says he has discussed potential of matching its cancer drug with Merck therapies. Bit vague, but clear that Merck has plans. | Follow @JohnCFierce

> Newron shares crash after neuropathic pain drug flunks trial. News

> Telaprevir study emphasizes need for hep C cocktails. Article

> Endo Pharma to buy HealthTronics in $223M deal. Report

> Promising PhII oral RA data triggers $30M milestone for Incyte. Article

Manufacturing News

> Congress ups ante to J&J, FDA in Tylenol recall. Report

> REMS gets backlash from ESA, opioid camps. Story

> Rule could let biologics makers use tech tools to ease regulatory burden. Report

> FDA: McNeil QA OK'd use of bacteria-tainted ingredients in Tylenol. News

Vaccine News

> Merck ramping up Durham vax campus, plans new lab. News

> Medicago makes a case for revolutionizing vaccine production. Story

> New study highlights an unexplored HIV vax path. Report

> New Novartis vaccine guards mice against E. coli. Report

And Finally... Widespread exposure to environmental toxins poses a serious threat to Americans, causing "grievous harm" that government agencies have not adequately addressed, according to a report released today by the President's Cancer Panel. Report

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