Merck's Banyu cuts jobs; Boston Sci heeding FDA warnings;

> Merckʼs Banyu Pharmaceutical in Japan will be making major cutbacks, reducing the number of branches and offices from 71 to 20. There will also be layoffs but Merck declined to comment on how many jobs will go.  Report > 

> The FDA rejected Gileadʼs drug, aztreonam lysine, an inhaled antibiotic aimed at treating infections in patients with cystic fibrosis.  Report

> The CEO of Boston Scientific said that it is making strides towards providing a response to an FDA warning letter issued in January 2006 regarding its drug-coated heart stent. Report

> The Drug Information Association will discuss clinical trial compliance issues with government experts, as well as experts from the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries at it's conference in Chicago during October. Report

> Targacept suffered a significant blow today with its announcement that its lead drug program failed to demonstrate efficacy against Alzheimer's. Report

> Amgen investors had plenty to cheer yesterday after seeing some impressive data on D-mab's ability to reduce fractures among post-menopausal women with osteoporosis. The news triggered a 5 percent surge in Amgen stock. Report

> Mannkind took another big step toward filing an application for its inhaled insulin after releasing data from a late-stage trial demonstrating the therapy is not inferior to injected drugs that control blood sugar levels in Type 1 diabetes patients. Report

> Bristol-Myers Squibb is evidently feeling a bit spurned these days, what with a mystery suitor trying to charm ImClone with an offer that's $10 a share sweeter than BMS'. "There are situations in which we are willing to walk away," CFO Jean-Marc Huet said. Report

> Cytokinetics says it will slash close to a third of its workforce and halt cancer research efforts so it can concentrate on muscle biology and advance clinical studies in the pipeline. Report

> Germany's Bayer has snapped up the protein engineering company Direvo for $298 million. Report

> Drugs that activate the cannabinoid receptors CB2 are able to block pain by interrupting the flow of pain signals through the sensory system, according to researchers in the UK. Report

And Finally... The Senate Special Committee on Aging is taking some of the focus off big pharma and placing it instead on the increasingly noticeable medical device industry with direct-to-consumer advertising concerns; now FDA might take greater interest in med device ads. Report