Merck profit beats estimates on diabetes sales; Lipitor generic verdict expected next week;

@FiercePharma:  Pharma grows online ad spending, despite FDA delays. News | Follow @FiercePharma

> Merck reported Q1 profit that topped analysts' estimates, boosted by cost reductions and higher sales of its Januvia diabetes pill. Report

> Less than a month after the FDA refused to approve the Gardasil vaccine for preventing HPV in women ages 27 to 45, Health Canada has gone in the other direction and issued an endorsement. News

> A federal judge will decide early next week whether to end Mylan's legal maneuvering aimed at improving the chance it could sell a generic version of Pfizer's blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor as early as June. Story

> Swiss medical devicemaker Synthes wants to win market share after its Q1 sales met forecasts with a 7.8 percent rise, underscoring the attractiveness of the group for Johnson & Johnson. Report

> Celgene said that its Q1 net income rose nine percent on higher sales of Revlimid and other cancer drugs. The company also boosted its guidance for the year. Article

> Shire posted a better-than-expected 22 percent rise in first-quarter earnings helped by strong demand for hyperactivity drugs and increased sales of medicines to treat rare diseases. Item

> The former general manager of Australia's Pan Pharmaceuticals is seeking $1 million in damages, claiming he was wrongfully dismissed. Story

> Drug reference and clinical information provider Lexi-Comp has reached an agreement to be sold for an unspecified amount to information services firm Wolters Kluwer. News

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: Sanofi offers Genzyme execs retention bonuses, green light for R&D. Item | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: Vertex panel was one of the most positive, predictable outcomes I've seen. That is very refreshing. Follow @JohnCFierce

> FDA approves J&J's prostate cancer drug Zytiga. Item 

> Paragon, UBM team up on stem cell partnership. Article 

> Oncothyreon raises $40M for cancer work. Report 

> Labopharm continues strategic review, mulls future of Oleptro. Story

> FDA panel unanimously backs Vertex's Hep C drug telaprevir. News

And Finally... China has declared victory over rapid population growth as the release of its decennial census signaled the focus will turn to managing the impact of a faster-than-expected rise in the number of older people. Report

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