NICE rejects Tyverb as too costly; German Merck wants to make a deal;

> The U.K.'s cost-benefit experts say GlaxoSmithKline's cancer drug Tyverb (Tykerb) is too expensive for the benefits it provides; it runs nearly $40,000 per year and costs some $160,000 to administer. Report

> Merck KGaA is "intensively" considering acquisitions to add to either its pharmaceuticals or its chemicals division, Chief Executive Karl-Ludwig Kley told Handelsblatt in an interview. Report

> Hungary's Richter Gedeon announced that its deal to buy Poland's Polpharma is unlikely to be consummated. Report

> Tibotec Pharmaceuticals said Europe's Committee for Human Medicinal Products (CHMP) recommended conditional approval of its HIV medication Intelence (etravirine) in the European Union. Report

> Deutsche Bank downgraded AstraZeneca to hold from buy, saying that the recent victories preserving Nexium and Seroquel patent protection boosted the stock price in line with its fair value. Report

> Angiotech Pharmaceuticals is packaging its assets not related to the Taxus coronary stent into a new subsidiary, Angiotech Pharmaceutical Interventions Inc. Report

> Probio Nutraceuticals has agreed to buy Gelkaps, which manufactures pharmaceutical and nutraceutical grade soft gelatin capsules. Report

> A shortage of new money is likely to drive more and more life sciences companies into mergers and acquisitions, say some of the industry's top analysts. Report

> A FDA advisory panel has voted 14-2 to recommend that the developers of diabetes drugs specifically demonstrate that their experimental therapies don't increase cardiovascular risks. Diabetes report

> ARYx Therapeutics says that Procter & Gamble surprisingly dropped out of a pact to develop an experimental therapy for chronic constipation and dyspepsia. ARYx report

> The Financial Times has consulted the experts in drug discovery and settled on three new technologies that promise to transform patient care in years to come. Report

Emerging Drug Developer: Gemin X Pharmaceuticals

And finally ... Experts are pushing the FDA to boost Vitamin D requirements, citing a dizzying array of possible health benefits. Report