Nominee for FDA chief forced to defend pharma ties; Hikma plant ready to go after FDA closes out warning letter;

@FiercePharma: WHO meeting could change strain selection for flu vaccines. More from FierceVaccines | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: There are lots of changes going on among generics producers, but here are the top players. Feature | Follow @EricPFierce

> President Barack Obama's nominee to take over the FDA, Dr. Robert Califf, defended his ties to the drug industry in Senate hearings Tuesday. Report

> Jordan-based Hikma Pharmaceuticals says the FDA has closed out a warning letter that had called for changes at its injectables plant in Portugal. Report

> Republicans are in the hot seat amid the furor over drug prices, as reflex opposition to government controls conflicts with voter worries about price gouging and affordability. Report

> The private equity firm Warburg Pincus is plowing $300 million into a British drug company, Vertice Pharma, that aims to buy drugmakers and pharma products; among its first deals is VistaPharm, which makes painkillers. Report

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: The top women in medical devices 2015. Feature | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: ICYMI: Boston Scientific recall of its cardiology guidewire deemed Class 1 by FDA. Article | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: : Discounts not enough to sway U.K. gatekeeper to back Roche's Kadcyla. FiercePharmaMarketing report | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Medtronic buys Aircraft Medical for $110M in bid to cut respiratory failure from unsuccessful intubation. Report

> FDA flags underactive thyroid cases in babies receiving iodine-containing contrast agents. Article

> CMS to penalize underperforming hospitals when it comes to hip and knee replacement. Story

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: GC-1 drug shifts bad 'white' fat into good, calorie-burning 'brown' fat in mice. FierceBiotechResearch story | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Don't want to hear about how many drug approvals a Big Pharma has received in the last 5 years. Small $$ drugs don't mean much at all. | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: Fun reminder of pharma's insane margins: $NVS has a Map My Run ad for a multiple sclerosis drug. Item | Follow @DamianFierce

> Merck KGaA, Pfizer bag 'breakthrough' status for PD-L1 immunotherapy. More

> Depomed buys a late-stage pain drug and settles its Endo suit in one swipe. Report

> Radius puts off its FDA filing to be 'respectful' of holiday plans. Article

> Novartis takes a third biosimilar shot at Amgen with a copy of the blockbuster Neulasta. Story

Biotech Research News

> Generic alcoholism drug used to flush dormant HIV. Report

> UCSD team targeting new stress pathway in Alzheimer's program. More

> CRISPR/Cas9 2.0: Research team offers an upgrade to gene editing tech. Story

> Bone microenvironment offers new approach on prostate cancer. Item

> GC-1 drug shifts bad 'white' fat into good, calorie-burning 'brown' fat in mice. Article

Vaccines News

> Scripps scientists ID weakness-attacking antibodies in pursuit of HIV vaccine. More

> FDA panel to examine 'maternal vaccines' to protect infants. Report

> Researchers tout vaccine's potential to lower cholesterol. Story

> GlaxoSmithKline Ebola vaccine shows safety in PhI. Article

> WHO meeting could change strain selection for flu vaccines. Item

Pharma Marketing News

> Just say no to drugs (advertising): AMA votes to ban DTC ads. More

> AbbVie's Humira repeats, joined by BMS' Opdivo in leading TV spending for October. Report

> Pay attention, pharma marketers: Men are checking out your brand marketing. Article

> Amgen's Repatha gets a thumbs-down from U.K. cost-effectiveness watchdogs. Item

> Discounts not enough to sway U.K. gatekeeper to back Roche's Kadcyla. Story

And Finally... The FDA is cracking down on dietary supplements, citing health risks of unknown ingredients and overstated benefits. Report

Suggested Articles

Which rollouts might suffer most? Those that treat chronic diseases, require doctors to administer them or face current competition, analysts say.

Novartis and Incyte will put their blockbuster JAK inhibitor into phase 3 clinical trials as a possible treatment for COVID-19, the drugmakers said.

The Cannes Lions canceled its advertising creativity conference for 2020 after media reports that many large ad agencies planned to opt out.