Merck's Keytruda gets NICE backing at discount; S.A.'s Aspen scouting for deals; Amgen opens new Irish facility;

@FiercePharma: Join @JohnCFierce for expert discussion on trial design and more at the @FierceBiotech Executive Summit on Oct. 12. More info | Follow @FiercePharma

@CarlyHFierce: ICYMI yesterday: Deal stalker Concordia snaps up Amdipharm in 'pivotal turning point' for M&A strategy. Article | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Merck & Co.'s ($MRK) new cancer immunotherapy Keytruda won backing from the U.K.'s cost-effectiveness watchdogs after offering an unspecified discount. Report

> Aspen Pharmacare, the South African generics maker, is looking for deals after a 46% increase in international sales helped boost its first-half profits. Report

> Amgen ($AMGN) officially opened its new $300 million production facility in Ireland. Report

> The Germany-based drugmaker Stada re-upped on its contract with CEO Hartmut Retzlaff, retaining him to run the company for 5 more years. Report

> Canadian regulators cleared Recordati's rare disease drug Carbaglu for marketing, as a treatment for hyperammonemia. Report

> India's drug market is expected to hit $32.7 billion by 2020, up from $15.4 billion in 2014. Report

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: Cofactor Genomics chases consumer testing with RNA diagnostic. More from FierceDiagnostics | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: $1M+ raised on Indiegogo for company making maskless device for sleep apnea. Article | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: Scientists NASA turbocharge 3-D imaging device for minimally invasive surgeries. Article | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Study: Cancer-cell mopping implant could stop disease in its tracks. Story

> Tandem gains FDA approval for the second CGM-integrated, insulin pump. Article

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Star team at Wyss, MIT orchestrate wider use of CRISPR/Cas9 tech. FierceBiotechResearch article | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: And to mark 3 trial disasters in a row: Flexion routed as lead pain drug flops in first pivotal study. Article | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: ICYMI: NYT editorial takes a weird, non-systemic middle ground on PCSK9 pricing. Article | Follow @DamianFierce

> Roche backs AveXis in a $65M round for SMA gene therapy. Article

> Agenus mortgages some vaccine royalties for $115M in R&D cash. More

> On a crash course with Celgene? Biogen inks a $544M autoimmune drug deal. Story

> On the ropes, GlaxoSmithKline admits to another PhIII debacle. Report

Biotech Research News

> UC San Diego study IDs experimental drug for rare neurological disease. More

> Penn scientists identify viral products that defend against respiratory syncytial virus. Story

> Researchers zero in on tau, a prime culprit in Alzheimer's disease. Item

> Michigan team spotlights a new drug target for depression. Article

> Star team at Wyss, MIT orchestrate wider use of CRISPR/Cas9 tech. Report

Diagnostics News

> FDA clears Nanosphere's respiratory pathogens diagnostic test. News

> FDA pencils in two public meetings for NGS regulation. Item

> Moffitt Cancer Center, Signal Genetics to conduct 'precision medicine' study of myeloma patients. Report

> Beleaguered HDL mulls $32M sale to True Health amid bankruptcy. Story

> Cofactor Genomics chases consumer testing with RNA diagnostic. Article

Pharma Marketing News

> Big Pharma misses the cut for new list of top healthcare tweeters. More

> Sanofi agrees to pay $2.4M to Zaltrap sales reps in fight over discounted commissions. Report

> J&J's new multiple myeloma fighter gets FDA priority review. Item

> Bristol-Myers oncology team gears up for cycling fundraiser. Story

> Kardashian's FDA infraction shows policing pharma social media isn't easy. Article

And Finally... About half of U.S. adults have either diabetes or prediabetes, a study found, with one-third of diabetics as yet undiagnosed. Report