Pharma holds strong in financial mess; Cordarone increases risk of death in short term;

> A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Wyeth's Cordarone didn't do much to reduce side effects and that patients who took it for a shorter time had a greater risk of premature death than patients who took it for a longer time did. Report

> Datamonitor says that big pharma will do more than hold strong during the U.S. financial crisis, implying that it will actually enjoy the time, using big cash reserves to go on a shopping spree at sale prices. Report

> One physician weighs in on Phenergan, and the benefits of administering the drug via an "I.V. push" instead of an intramuscular injection in the cases of severe nausea and vomiting, despite the injuries that can result. Report

> Following the collapse of a hydraulic at an AstraZeneca site on Friday, two men working on an expansion of the company's research facility have died. The first, Peter Marchese, died at the scene and the second, Christopher Beste, died Monday. Report

> The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development will collaborate with Sanofi-Aventis to help discover, develop and examine clinical applications for medications to treat tuberculosis, with the hopes discovering medications that offer shorter treatment regimens as well as medications that are not resistant. Review 

> Genentech didn't reach analyst expectations for third-quarter earnings, but it did beat Wall Street estimates when it came to sales of Avastin, its drug for the treatment of cancer. Report 

> William R. Brody intends to use his new post as president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies to call for more federal support for research work. Report

> Pharmalot reports that Pfizer may sell off some of the research units it has slated for elimination and may buy a "brand name" biotech company to boot. Report

> Synta Pharmaceuticals has earned a $25 million pay out from GlaxoSmithKline. And it stands to earn another two $25 million checks as Glaxo advances the cancer drug elesclomol, which is in a late-stage study as a treatment for skin cancer. Report

> With a Phase III trial scheduled for next year, Research Triangle Park, NC-based Tranzyme Pharma says it is now pondering three key avenues to go forward: partner the drug, raise $60 million from investors or sell the company. Report

> Par Pharmaceutical is restructuring. The company says it will cut R&D spending and slash 190 jobs on the generic drug side. And it will concentrate its attention on advancing products it already has in development. Report

> BioWorld turned in an interesting feature on David Brennan's speech at BioPartnering Europe, where the buzz was all focused on the global economic crisis and the likely impact it would have on biotech. For Brennan, the CEO of AstraZeneca, the crisis makes it even more important for cash-rich pharma companies like AstraZeneca to do more partnership deals. Report

And Finally... Is the FDA too lax a regulator when it comes to food product imports from China?  It's a common theme for pharma, too, and at least one journalist believes the FDA needs to toughen up. Article