Merck's Tredaptive study heightens concerns about niacin; Chairman wants to take China's Simcere Pharma private;

Merck kgaa

@FiercePharma: The U.S. taxman may come for pharma's foreign profits. Merck, J&J, Pfizer among those saving tax $$. Article | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: Baxter to cut 400 jobs in Puerto Rico amid plant upgrades. Expansion includes 1 that FDA cited 2 years ago. News | Follow @EricPFierce

> Details of Merck's ($MRK) failed Tredaptive study intensify questions about the benefits and side effects of niacin therapy, which could further affect use of AbbVie's ($ABBV) Niaspan. Report | Report

Virtual Clinical Trials Summit

Virtual Clinical Trials Summit: The Premier Educational Event Focused on Decentralized Clinical Trials

In this virtual environment, we will look at current and future trends for ongoing virtual trials, diving into the many ways companies can improve patient engagement and trial behavior to enhance retention with a focus on emerging technology and harmonized data access across the clinical trial system.

> The chairman of China's Simcere Pharma is leading a consortium of investors trying to buy the company for $9.56 per American Depositary Share, which values it at about $500 million. Report

> Gilead Sciences' ($GILD) angina drug Ranexa cut chest pain in diabetes patients, particularly those whose blood sugar was poorly controlled, a study found. Report

> Pfizer ($PFE) said it has begun construction work on a new manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia, which is designed to turn out 18 million packs of drugs a year when it's up to speed in 2015. Report

> Generics maker Actavis ($ACT) plans to shut down an R&D facility in Malta as the company integrates its former Watson Pharmaceuticals operations with its newly acquired Actavis assets. Report

> A leading Cipla Medpro shareholder is reportedly lobbying for a higher buyout bid from supply partner and Indian drugmaker Cipla. Report

> Painkiller abuse is moving westward in the U.S., and law enforcement and health officials are scrambling to combat it. Report

Medical Device News

 @FierceMedDev: In the wake of BrainGate, Brown U. debuts wireless brain sensor. Editor's Corner | Follow @FierceMedDev

 @MarkHFierce: Robert White, CEO of Fierce 15 company Tyrx, is joining AtriCure's board of directors. Interesting development. News | Follow @MarkHFierce

 @DamianFierce: In case you missed it over the weekend, J&J has to shell out $8.3M in its first all-metal hip trial. Article | Follow @DamianFierce

> CMS opens door to cancer-related PET coverage. Story

> Boston Scientific calms skeptics with Watchman results. Report

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: Popular last week: Ex-Amgen research czar Perlmutter to helm Merck's struggling R&D ops. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Sanford-Burnham and Mayo Clinic to collab on drug pipeline. Release | Follow @JohnCFierce

@RyanMFierce: The  of pharma is seeking an IPO, Bloomberg reported. Veeva makes sense: Story | Follow @RyanMFierce

> Leading industry backlash, AbbVie counterattacks on move to unlock Humira data. Report

> U.K. Catalyst fund injects $70M into new generation of biotechs. Story

> Medicines Co.'s blood thinner finally reaps positive results in third PhIII. More

CRO News

> Report: Only 45 Indian trial deaths compensated since 2005. More

> WuXi predicts more double-digit growth in 2013. Story

> Report: Only 45 Indian trial deaths compensated since 2005. Article

> Patheon's loss widens after $255M Banner deal. Report

> PRA buys ClinStar, expands in Eastern Europe. News

Biotech IT News

> Brown marries brains and computers. Item

> U.S. and Israeli groups team to sync medical, clinical trials software. News

> Microsoft's web-search mining uncovers side effect of drug pairing. Story

> Facebook goes biotech for new board member. Article

And Finally... Another cruise ship was struck with an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness. Report