Novartis med fails in higher-dosage trial; Abbott touts Humira for RA remission;

> Novartis failed to prove that more Glivec is better: In a clinical trial, doubling doses of the cancer drug was no more effective than giving the usual dose. Report

> Abbott Laboratories said long-term data showed its drug Humira, in combination with methotrexate, led to remission of rheumatoid arthritis for up to seven years. Report

> Teva got tentative FDA approval to market its generic version of Novartis' Diovan, which is used for the treatment of hypertension. Release

> European regulators have given GlaxoSmithKline's cancer drug Tyverb--sold as Tykerb in the U.S.--conditional approval, clearing it for launch but asking for more clinical data. Report

> Generic drug maker Bentley Pharmaceuticals said its board approved the spin-off of its drug delivery business into a new company named CPEX Pharmaceuticals Inc. Report

> Genentech's Susan Desmond-Hellmann, president of product development, outlined the biotech giant's development strategy to a group at the Goldman Sachs healthcare conference. In addition to testing new uses of its cancer blockbusters, Desmond-Hellman says the company will push hard to advance new therapies in the neuroscience and infectious disease areas. Report

> Two big suppliers to the drug development business are merging. Invitrogen has agreed to acquire all of the shares of Applera's Applied Biosystems in a $6.7 billion cash and stock deal. Merger report

> The prolific Harvard/MIT scientist Robert Langer, whose ideas have spawned a string of biotech start-ups, has won the €800,000 Millennium Technology Prize. Report

> Eli Lilly is forking over a $35 million upfront payment to nail down the worldwide licensing rights to TransPharma Medical's ViaDerm-hPTH osteoporosis product and a non-exclusive license to its ViaDerm drug delivery system. Report

> Jazz Pharmaceuticals says it needs to extend the development time line for two key drug programs, a move that triggered a decision to lay off 33 workers, or eight percent of its workforce. Layoff report

And Finally... Drug companies could save millions thanks to a new technology to monitor crystals as they form, University of Leeds researchers said. Release

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