Novartis BP meds get FDA nod; Sweden's Meda to buy chunk of Valeant;

> Schering-Plough's stock fell on the surprising news that the FDA rejected Bridion (sugammadex), a treatment to reverse muscle relaxation during general anesthesia. Report

> The FDA gave its blessing to two single-pill combination drugs for treating high blood pressure, Diovan HCT and Exforge, from Novartis, the drugmaker said Monday. Release | Report

> Swedish pharmaceutical firm Meda said it would buy a large chunk of the European operations of American Valeant for $392 million, boosting its presence in Britain and giving it an entry into Russia. Release

> Mexico rolled back a rule that had required AIDS drug companies to maintain manufacturing plants in that country to sell any generic drugs there. Report

> Czech-based generics drug maker Zentiva reported a 19 percent rise in first-half net profit, as foreign units began to contribute to the group's profits. Report

> Caraco Laboratories launched its generic version of Abbott Laboratories' Depakote, a seizure and bipolar disorder treatment. Report

> India's Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals announced that it received European Union approval for Piperacillin and Tazobactam for injection. Report

> Versant Ventures has pulled together $500 million to fund life science companies. The investment group says it will target approximately 30-35 medical device, biotech, and pharmaceutical investments in the U.S. with a focus on funding early-stage and seed opportunities. Report

> Cadence Pharmaceuticals's stock shot up on the FDA announcement that the company does not have to conduct any additional studies of Acetavance, an intravenous version of acetaminophen. Report

> Human Genome Sciences--and other biotechs that made claims to parts of the human genetic sequence--were dealt a blow by the U.K. The High Court, which ruled on the first case to question the patentability of discoveries made through the use of bioinformatics. Report

Emerging Drug Developer: Cytochroma

And Finally... Experts now agree that bacteria, not the flu virus, caused the most deaths during the 1918 pandemic, and suggest that governments stock up on antibiotics. Report