Pfizer CMO announces plans to retire; Bayer hit with bad news about Trasylol;

> Pfizer Chief Medical Officer Joe Feczko will retire in a few months after a search for his replacement, CEO Jeff Kindler announced to employees yesterday. Report

> On the same day that a study showed that Bayer's anti-bleeding drug Trasylol was linked with a higher risk of death than alternative drugs were, the company learned it had been slapped with a lawsuit from a woman alleging her husband died because Trasylol was used in his bypass surgery. Report

> Despite concerns expressed by some doctors and patients that generics are inferior products, there is no evidence brand-name meds are clinically superior, according to a meta-analysis of 47 studies of various cardiovascular drugs published in JAMA. Report

> A study of Merck's cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil found that allergic reactions were uncommon and most young women can tolerate subsequent doses, Australian researchers said on Wednesday. Report

> Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline has announced 200 jobs will be axed at its factory in County Durham, Ireland, over the next 12 to 18 months. Report

> Japanese pharma giant Eisai is creating more than 500 jobs in an expansion nearing completion in Hatfield, England. Report

> Bristol-Myers Squibb will cut the work force at its DeWitt, New York, plant 5 percent by the end of the year as part of its ongoing restructuring, the company confirmed today. Report

> Irish-based Tibotec Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that has offices in Yardley, said today that it has signed a royalty-free, non-exclusive license agreement with Emcure Pharmaceuticals Limited of India to distribute an HIV drug in India. Report

> Ranbaxy Laboratories, India's biggest drug maker, said it is partnering with U.S. drug firm BioPro Pharmaceuticals to sell the latter’s brain tumor drug Gliadel Wafer in the country. Report

> MSD Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Merck & Co, plans to launch its branded drugs in India at lower prices than those Merck charges in developed countries, a company official said. Report

> Chennai, India-based drug manufacturer Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals got the FDA nod to market the anti-epilepsy drug Divalproex Sodium. Report

> Newron Pharmaceuticals has lined up new financing to get itself through the current economic crisis. Report

> Goldman Sachs says it is ready to start funneling hundreds of millions of dollars into a new 'hybrid' R&D model that will be used to advance early and mid-stage drugs in the biopharma pipeline. Report

> Pozen has taken another step toward the regulatory approval of a new arthritis treatment. The Chapel Hill, NC biotech says that PN 400--which is partnered with AstraZeneca--produced new data supporting its efficacy and hit its endpoints in two studies. Report

> Catalyst Biosciences has raised a hefty $40.4 million in a Series C financing round. New investor Essex Woodlands Health Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investors. Report

> Germany's Evotec AG has forged a three-year drug discovery alliance with Novartis that is worth up to $28 million in fees and milestones. Report

> Despite recent setbacks in the search for a new AIDS vaccine, developers are continuing to report fresh progress in the field. Report

> A study of 450 people given Vanda Pharmaceuticals' experimental sleep drug tasimelteon demonstrated that the therapy can swiftly reset a body's circadian rhythm, offering a potential new treatment for people who suffer from jet lag or the effects of a night shift schedule. Report

> Are vaccinations bad for business? That's what some doctors are concerned about. Report

And Finally... Patients who do not initially respond to standard drug therapy for treatment of hepatitis C are unlikely to respond to long-term maintenance therapy as well, according to a new study. Report