Pharma expected to pull DTC punches; Drug markets in Middle East set to grow 10-15%;

> In the wake of the FDA's ordering Bayer to run corrective ads for its Yaz contraceptive, DTC advertising experts say pharma firms are likely to cut back on consumer TV and take a more conservative stance in the commercials they do air. Report

> The pharmaceutical market in the Middle East is likely to grow by between ten and 15 percent annually over the next three years, outstripping more mature markets, forecasts a report from URCH Publishing. Release

> Merck taped Carlos E. Represas, chairman of Nestlé Mexico, as one of its 13 outside directors, effective Feb. 24; he'll stand for election at the annual shareholders' meeting in April. Release

> Gedeon Richter inked a deal to market and distribute HRA Pharma's ella and ellaOne emercency contraceptives in Central Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Release

> Medtronic's fiscal third-quarter net income soared amid prior-year acquisition charges while the medical-device maker reported falling sales of implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Report

> Suntron said its facility in Sugar Land, Texas, is now registered with the FDA to build medical devices. Release

> About 250 employees at a Bayer Health Care Pharmaceuticals' facility in northern New Jersey were evacuated Monday after a powdery substance was found in a letter. Report

> Millipore opened its new Biomanufacturing Sciences and Training Center in Singapore, to support the company's biopharma customers with operations in Asia. Release

> Savient Pharmaceuticals' shares dropped almost 30 percent on news that the FDA has extended the review of its gout drug by three months. Report

> Researchers at UCLA say they've gathered solid clinical data that supports the potential single use of gene therapy to combat HIV. Article

> The South San Francisco start-up Alios BioPharma has rounded up commitments on $24 million in venture capital and plans to use the funds to start advancing its preclinical programs toward proof-of-concept. Report

> Australia's Novogen announced today that it will suspend its cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory programs to focus its resources on advancing its oncology business. Report

> Vical's pandemic flu vaccine candidate Vaxfectin demonstrated safety and efficacy in a Phase I trial, the San Diego-based biotech reported today. Report

> Canada's Haemacure, which develops human plasma-derived protein products, is drastically cutting costs as it looks to sell or merge the company. Report

> Scientists are now studying the small antibodies found in llamas and camels that promise to be able to offer better therapies for some of the world's biggest diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's, arthritis and more. Article

And Finally... Under new American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, fewer than 1 percent of American children aged 12-17 really need statins, according to a new study in Circulation. Report

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