Morgan Stanley eats its words on Lantus; Watson CFO takes health-related leave;

> Sanofi-Aventis stock was raised to "overweight" from "equal-weight" at Morgan Stanley, which said that its concern about lost sales of the diabetes drug Lantus was unfounded. Report

> Watson Pharmaceuticals announced that CFO Mark W. Durand has taken a leave of absence for health reasons; R. Todd Joyce, a VP and corporate controller, will take on Durand's duties. Watson release

> Teva Pharmaceutical Industries said second-quarter profit rose 25 percent on revenue from its top-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone and savings from the acquisition of Barr Pharmaceuticals. Report

> Sanofi-Aventis set a higher-than-expected price for its Multaq heart drug, a move which some analysts said could boost sales forecasts for the potential blockbuster product. Report

> Human Genome Sciences, whose stock more than tripled last week, plans to sell more shares to the public to fund clinical trials and make potential acquisitions. Report

> Medtronic agreed to pay rival Abbott Laboratories $400 million as part of a legal settlement on stents and stent-delivery systems. Report

Biotech News

> Waltham, MA-based Avila Therapeutics unveiled two major announcements today. First, the developer has closed a $30 million Series B round of funding--enough money to move the company's lead drug into clinical trials and support its activities through mid to late 2011. Report

> Speculation on as yet unreleased data from a late stage trial of Acadia Pharmaceuticals' experimental drug for Parkinson's disease psychosis has fueled unexpectedly heavy activity among investors. Report

> Following rumors that it had dropped out of the race for vaccine maker Shantha Biotechnics, Sanofi-Aventis announced that it will pay €550 million ($784 million) for the Indian company. Sanofi's vaccine division Sanofi-Pasteur, will acquire ShanH, French subsidiary of Merieux Alliance, which holds a majority stake in Hyderabad-based Shantha. Report

Research News

> In an unprecedented laboratory feat, Chinese researchers have taken adult stem cells from mice and used them to breed new mice, a breakthrough that's being heralded as a fresh sign that the days of using fetal stem cells in research and the clinic is nearing an end. Report

> In an advancement could have profound consequences for labs engaged in cell engineering, a research team working in the lab of Harvard Professor George Church has created a new cell programming method dubbed Multiplex Automated Genome Engineering that gave them the ability to simultaneously 'edit' multiple genes. Report

> Determined to head off a swine flu pandemic that is once again inspiring widespread fear, the European Medicines Agency has cleared a fast track for the development of a new vaccine, doing away with the need for large-scale human trials. Report

And Finally... People with type 1 diabetes who aggressively control their blood sugar early in the disease can cut their long-term risk of serious complications in half, researchers said. Report

Suggested Articles

Alnylam is ready to follow on its Onpattro launch with an FDA nod for Givlaari. But the drug's safety profile is giving analysts reason to pause.

FDA nominee Stephen Hahn faced questions from Senators on Wednesday on topics including drug pricing, biosimilars, opioids and more.

BMS’ Opdivo-Yervoy combo been game-changing in late-stage melanoma. But when it comes to expanding the pair’s reach, the company has hit a roadblock.