Roche and Novo go direct-to-pharmacy; Lundbeck offloads LifeCycle shares to foundation;

> Astellas Pharma has made a bid to buy CV Therapeutics for $16 per share in cash, a 41 percent premium over Monday's closing price; so far, CV Therapeutics has rejected the offer and refused to negotiate. Release

> Roche and Novo Nordisk are the latest companies to cut the number of wholesalers allowed to supply their medicines to UK pharmacies, under a so-called direct-to-pharmacy distribution arrangement. Report

> Lundbeck is selling its shares in LifeCycle Pharma -- as well as ownership interests in four small private equity funds -- to its foundation's investment firm, as part of a strategy to focus on core assets. Report

> Germany's pharmaceutical industry is poised to reach $63.5 billion by 2013, or about $770 per capita, according to a new Research and Markets report. Release

> China has agreed to facilitate an easy entry of Malaysian medical and pharmaceutical products, Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said today. Report

> The gusher of venture funds that flowed into the biotech field thinned significantly in the fourth quarter of last year. With risk-taking out of fashion, VC investments plunged 33 percent in the last three months of 2008. Report

> Alnylam Pharmaceuticals promoted Dr. Akshay Vaishnaw to senior vice presient of clinical research, reporting to CEO John Maraganore. Release

> Amylin Pharmaceuticals appointed Vincent Mihalik to senior vice president of sales and marketing and chief commercial officer; he had been a VP of global brand development in diabetes care for Eli Lilly. Release

> Advanced Viral Research says that it will suspend operations after running out of cash and failing to raise new money. Report

> Avigen's largest shareholder is trying to engineer a merger of the developer with MediciNova. A subsidiary of Biotechnology Value Fund of San Francisco is offering $20.9 million for Avigen, but says that the offer is contingent on replacing Avigen's current board with a new slate from BVF. Report

> The regenerative medicine developer Intercytex says it is axing half of its 76 staffers at facilities in the UK and Boston, giving it enough money on hand to fund operations through 2009. Report

> The FDA's decision to allow Geron to launch the first clinical trial of an embryonic stem cell therapy has sent a jolt of optimism--along with an undercurrent of fresh anxiety--coursing through the fledgling stem cell field. Report

> Researchers have been spending time and money trying to find a therapy that can have the same tonic effect as a sharp reduction in calories. Now German scientists say that a 30 percent reduction in caloric intake among overweight seniors can significantly improve memory and thinking skills. Report

> The science of the very small may deliver a new technology that can constantly monitor a person's blood sugar level and alert them when they need an insulin shot. The nanosensors would be injected under the skin, much like dye for a tattoo. Report

And Finally... Just as the FDA is reconsidering stimulants as a treatment for asthma, a new study offers further evidence to support an opposite approach to the malady. Release