Novartis takes $235M charge on trial; Schering gets EU nod for animal shot sale;

> Novartis is taking a $235 million charge after halting development of its Aurograb treatment for bacterial infections because it showed a lack of efficacy in mid-stage trials. Report

> Schering-Plough won EU approval to sell off several animal vaccines and medicines to rival Pfizer Corp., obeying an earlier EU antitrust order to offload some assets before it could buy another pharmaceutical business. Report

> Otsuka Pharmaceutical has acquired Interpharma Praha, a Czech drug maker strong in pharmaceutical ingredients and nutrition products, from its shareholder Interpharma West Inc. Report

> A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against McKesson Corp. that alleged the drug distributor engaged in price-fixing. Report

> Dr. Reddy's Laboratories received final FDA approval for its versions of the high blood pressure drug Trandolapril, branded by Abbott Laboratories as Mavik. Report

> Skyepharma, the maker of drug delivery systems, is close to an agreement to renegotiate its bonds, as it announced a reduction in losses and increased revenues. Report

> The U.S. government is seeking an array of information from Stryker amid a probe regarding alleged improper reimbursement claims and potential violations, and the device maker is fighting back in court by claiming the request is "oppressive and overly broad." Report

> A judge ruled Wednesday that fees for plaintiffs lawyers in the big Vioxx settlement will be capped at 32 percent, or $1.55 billion. Report

> Canadian researchers say that it may be possible to compensate for the key brain protein missing in Fragile X patients, opening the way to a possible therapy that can reverse symptoms of the disease. Report

> A team of scientists at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have reprogrammed normal pancreas cells into insulin-producing cells in mice. Report

> The executives at ImClone have been carefully crunching the numbers for both its pipeline drugs as well as Erbitux as it builds a case that Bristol-Myers Squibb's current offer is far too low to accept. Report

> Another round of job cuts at the struggling Replidyne will leave only a skeleton staff of five on the payroll of a biotech company that once employed 85. Report

> More bad news for Pfizer's pipeline. An anti-clotting drug it is developing with Bristol-Myers Squibb--apixaban--failed to perform better than Lovenox in a late-stage trial. Report

And Finally... They say timing is everything--even with chemotherapy. Report