Purdue settles with KV on OxyContin; NAACP sues Lilly, alleging discrimination;

> Purdue Pharma settled a patent dispute over OxyContin with KV Pharmaceutical, agreeing to let KV sell generic versions of the popular painkiller on a limited basis in the United States. Report

> The NAACP and nine individuals asked for class-action status in a complaint alleging that Eli Lilly discriminates against its African-American employees in pay, promotion and related promotional opportunities. Release

> The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Swiss banker Lorenz Kohler on claims he led a group that reaped $499,696 by using nonpublic information to buy call options before GlaxoSmithKline's 2006 bid for CNS Inc. Report

> Akorn announced the appointment of Raj Ra as interim CEO while the board searches for a permanent replacement to Jeffrey A. Whitnell, another interim chief who is leaving the company; Timothy Dick was tapped as CFO. Akorn release

> The U.S. Senate rejected the main challenge to legislation giving the FDA sweeping controls over tobacco products, easing the way for passage of the measure this week. Report

> The WHO said a spike in swine flu cases in Australia may push it to finally declare the first flu pandemic in 41 years, and officials expressed concern about an unusual rise in severe illness in Canada. Report

> Investors were shorting stocks at a greater rate yesterday, with Merck among the leading short-interest stocks, Reuters wrote; the drugmaker saw a 15.7 percent increase in shorts with a settlement date of May 29. Report

> Watson Pharmaceuticals asked FDA to approve two more generic versions of the Reckitt Benckiser expectorant Mucinex. Report

> Dr. Reddy's Laboratories got the FDA nod for its generic version of the over-the-counter heartburn medication Prilosec. Report

> The rapid growth of the Romanian pharmaceutical market seen in the past four years will likely continue in the next five, although the growth rate is expected to decrease. Report

Manufacturing News

> Nonprofit Rx-360 has launched, following an event in Washington last week. The anticounterfeiting consortium's mission is to "create and monitor a global quality system that meets the expectations of industry and regulators that assures patient safety by enhancing product quality and authenticity throughout the supply chain." Report

> Velesco Pharmaceutical Services, formed in 2007 by former Pfizer R&D colleagues in Michigan, has opened a manufacturing facility and office in Kalamazoo and moved its Ann Arbor labs to the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center in Plymouth. Report

> The universal product code, or UPC--a common version of the bar code--turns 35 on the 26th of this month, the same month that Apple touts a barcode-reading capability in its iPhone and the New York Times reports on data bars, a follow-on technology capable of storing more data in a smaller space and more suited to the labeling of individual items. Report

> A €2.3 million ($3.2 million) program launched by Enterprise Ireland seeks methods to improve the production systems used in drug manufacturing. The aim of the program is to deliver more efficient, reliable and cheaper processes for biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Report

Biotech News

> Shares of SkyePharma were sliding yesterday after the UK developer told investors that the FDA would probably come back with a request for more data on its lead drug Flutiform, adding to the time it will take to reach the marketplace. Report

> After a long campaign to get Congress to adopt an aggressive biogenerics bill, Congressman Henry Waxman is suggesting to President Obama that the FDA should be urged to get started on approving biosimilars even before a new law passes. Report

> Arena Pharmaceuticals got a much-needed boost from investors yesterday after releasing new data showing that patients who stuck with the treatment regimen in a clinical trial of its experimental obesity drug did much better than the placebo arm of the study. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline will invest £21 million ($34 million) and its considerable scientific expertise in a new joint venture that will develop and produce new vaccines for seasonal, pandemic and pre-pandemic use in China. Report

And Finally... A broad consensus on legislation to remake the nation's health care system was developing as three House committee chairmen outlined a bill similar to one being written in the Senate. Report