Recession slows pharma push into China; Wyeth buys into new obesity approach;

> Although the downturn has slowed Big Pharma's investment in China, the country's wide ranging healthcare reforms and changing economic landscape still provide considerable opportunities, PricewaterhouseCoopers says. Report

> Wyeth is investing in a new approach to fighting obesity by acquiring tiny British biotechnology company Thiakis for up to $150 million. Report

>Pregnant women who took Depakote, the epilepsy treatment also used to fight bipolar disorder and migraines, had children with significantly lower IQ scores than those who took a different antiseizure med. Report

> AstraZeneca India launched the cholesterol-fighting pill Crestor today in that country "at prices affordable for Indian patients." Report

> The FDA eased warnings on Roche's Rocephin antibiotic, saying that it can now be administered along with products containing calcium in patients older than 28 days. Report

> Meettheboss.com, an online networking site for the financial services sector has diversified into pharma with a new section devoted to the industry. Report

> Colorado-based Accera, a biotech company exploring CNS therapies, announced today that it is launching a spin-off company called Neuera Pharmaceuticals. Report

> Infinity Pharmaceuticals halted its late-stage trial of an experimental new therapy for gastrointestinal tumors after recording a higher mortality rate among the patients taking the drug. Its shares swiftly plunged 45 percent. Report

> Caught in a Congressional sting operation last year, Colorado Springs, CO-based Coast IRB has been asked by the FDA to stop some of the work it does in approving clinical trial designs and overseeing patient safety guidelines. Report

> Following through on its plans to buy up small and mid-sized drug developers, Sanofi-Aventis struck a deal to buy the U.S. cancer specialist BiPar Sciences for up to $500 million. Report

> Reality check: It's time to focus on encouraging innovation among Massachusetts' biotech companies rather than luring biotech manufacturers, according MassBio's President Robert Coughlin. And that was the message Coughlin presented--along with the 2015 Strategic Plan--to attendees at the Council's annual meeting this week. Report

> Working with grant money provided by the National Institutes of Health, a researcher at Michigan State University has developed a vaccine that he says will guard against a strain of E.Coli that kills millions of children each year in the developing world. Report

> State governments have begun to tot up millions of dollars provided in the new stimulus bill for vaccination programs. Report

And Finally... Merck's chief strategy officer blamed pharma's woes on researchers' low success rate in identifying new drugs. Report

Suggested Articles

The efficacy between Keytruda and FerGene's nadofaragene firadenovec look comparable in their studies, though Merck has at least one upper hand.

Thursday, the FDA approved the first three generic versions of Gilenya, but they may not hit the market anytime soon due to ongoing litigation.

Gilead is hoping to score a patent extension on TAF meds, but patient advocates say that would reward conduct that harmed patients.