Report: Pfizer eyeing Wockhardt divisions; Genzyme nabs EU nod for Renvela;

> Pfizer is reportedly looking at buying Wockhardt's veterinary and biotech divisions, which are now up for sale; India Infolne says the companies are valued at around Rs 1.2 billion, or about $25 million. Report

> Genzyme won European approval for Renvela, a newer version of its Renagel drug to help control the level of phosphate in the blood of chronic kidney disease patients. Report

> The FDA warned that some stolen vials of the long-acting insulin Levemir made by Novo Nordisk have reappeared and are being sold in the U.S. market, and that they might be dangerous for use because of poor handling. Report

> Medicis Pharmaceutical sued Ranbaxy Laboratories over the latter's application for FDA approval for a generic version of the acne drug Solodyn. Report

> Citigroup upgraded AstraZeneca to buy from hold, citing the potential for a strong second quarter on accelerating sales of Crestor Rx. Report

Biotech News

> Shares of Savient Pharmaceuticals barreled ahead more than 50 percent this morning after analysts had a chance to digest FDA staff remarks on the gout drug Krystexxa, which is up for a panel review next tomorrow. Report

> One of a new class of drugs being advanced by GTx delivered positive data in a mid-stage trial to combat muscle wasting in cancer patients--an unmet medical need with no currently approved therapeutics. Report

> Citing problems with the number of patients recruited for a mid-stage clinical trial of the cancer drug aflibercept along with the fragile health of the patients involved, Regeneron Therapeutics and Sanofi-Aventis say they will not be presenting data from the study for accelerated approval. Those complicating factors, say researchers, makes it too difficult to judge the clinical efficacy of the drug for ovarian cancer. Report

> BusinessWeek casts Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella (photo) as a champion of science bucking the current trend of big mergers in favor of an ambitious investment in experimental drugs in a major piece exploring the drug giant's discovery model. Report

> Novartis appears to be the first of the major vaccine makers to get through the critical first phase of development for a new vaccine to guard against the new flu. Report

Biotech IT News

Rick Franckowiak, director for systems engineering at the Pharmaceutical Research & Development IT organization at Johnson & Johnson, sees an upside to the economic downturn and the challenges it creates for pharma R&D. "Innovation is increasing out of necessity," he says. "Our job is to stay out in front and understand where the technology is advancing to." Report

Healthcare IT start-up TrialX has launched an application that allows the 4 million to 6 million (and growing) Twitter users to find clinical trials. Users query (tweet) TrialX using the keyword "CT" for clinical trial, and provide a few health profile details ("I'm a 55 year-old male with prostate cancer looking for trials in Columbus, OH"). Report

And Finally... Does a skin cancer cream have cosmetic potential? A new study shows Valeant Pharmaceuticals' Efudex smoothed wrinkles and erased age spots. Report

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