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

> 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 salesforce.com  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