Obama back on campaign trail for reform; Amgen plots $1 billion senior note sale;

  @FiercePharma: GSK, Merck promise more deal-making. Article | Follow @FiercePharma

> President Barack Obama made a spirited, shirt-sleeved appeal for passage of long-stalled healthcare changes as Democratic leaders worked behind the scenes on legislation they hope can quickly gain passage. Report

> Amgen plans to sell $1 billion of senior notes in a two-part sale, reports IFR, a Thomson Reuters service. Report

> Matrixx Initiatives says the FDA declined to withdraw the warning letter on the company's nasal versions of Zicam cold remedy. Report

> Stirling Pharma, an Australian group, has taken over North Sydney-based Keata Pharma for about $3.6 million. Report

> Watson Pharmaceuticals asked FDA to approve its version of a painkiller made by Endo Pharmaceuticals, prompting a patent suit from Endo and partner Penwest Pharmaceuticals. Report

> Regular use of pain-relief medicine appears to increase men's risk of hearing loss, especially those who are middle-aged. Report

Biotech News

   @FierceBiotech Between 4Q07 and 4Q09, 25 percent of US public biotechs disappeared (half via M&A), says BIO. | Follow @FierceBiotech

  @JohnCFierce: For sale: Ark Therapeutics. Willing to consider any serious offer. Buyer must be willing to mount new Ph3 for lead drug. Follow @JohnCFierce

> AutoImmune calls it quits. Item

> With Astellas Pharma and OSI Pharmaceuticals haggling over price, BNet Pharma wonders which biotechs could be next on the buyout menu. Story

> InterMune trading halted on panel review. Article

> The emphasis in the European biopharma scene is squarely on finding a new equation for drug discovery that relies less on internal R&D operations and more on external drug discovery work. Report

> Ark in sales talks after regulators demand new trial. Story

> South San Francisco-based Exelixis is axing 270 jobs--40 percent of its workforce--as it circles its wagons around its top three cancer programs. Article

Manufacturing News

> Labels deal supports drug authentication. News

> Indian API maker Aurobindo Pharma has become the latest scrambler for the manufacturing services bounty expected from a morphing drug industry model. Item

> The 230,000-square foot Ann Arbor facility closed by Pfizer in 2008, following a $250-million expansion six years earlier, is being scrutinized by owner University of Michigan. Report

Biotech Research News

> In the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Yale School of Medicine researchers say they've discovered a way to grow coronary arteries that could eventually lead to a non-invasive option for conducting heart bypasses. Item

> U of M researchers discover HIV reservoir. Story

> Danish scientists have determined sufficient intake of vitamin D is vital for the killer T cells of the immune system to fend off serious infections. News

And Finally... Doctors and hospitals are getting a new test that many think will help fight ovarian cancer--one of the deadliest cancers--by helping them to more quickly distinguish cancerous from benign growths. Report