Sandoz to pay $78.4M in Medicaid case; Dr Reddy's winding down non-US ops;

> Jurors ordered the Sandoz to pay Alabama $78.4 million for causing the state Medicaid program to pay too much for prescription drugs from 1991 to 2005. Report

> Dr Reddy's Laboratories is scaling back its global operations outside the U.S., with plans to pull out of China completely and cut down its presence in the Middle East and Africa, India's Economic Times reports. Report

> Sanofi-Aventis said its long-running effort to take over Czech pharmaceutical firm Zentiva was completed Wednesday, a deal it says will make it the world's 11th-largest generic drug manufacturer. Report

> For the first time, leading medical groups are advising healthy men who are regularly screened for prostate cancer to consider taking Merck's Proscar or its generic form finasteride to prevent the disease. Report

> Genentech said Tuesday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confirmed the validity of a crucial patent covering ways the biotechnology company makes certain of its drugs. Report

> Pfizer has reconsidered subleasing a midtown Manhattan office tower with 650,000 square feet of space, preferring to save the space for Wyeth employees acquired in its impending merger. Report

> In a cost-cutting move, Amgen is contracting out its facilities management in a $500 million, five-year contract with Jones Lang LaSalle Americas. Release

> Novo Nordisk has chosen Dünya Küçükçetin as the company's new Near East region insulin marketing manager. Report

> A year after launching an unsuccessful IPO, Waltham, Massachusetts-based Dynogen said it will liquidate its assets and file for bankruptcy. Report

> Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer (photo) said yesterday that his company will spend about $600 million in 2009 to acquire new products for chronic diseasesReport

> The beleaguered Vanda Pharmaceuticals is resisting an attempt by Tang Capital Partners to replace two board members whose terms will expire this year. Additionally, Tang will urge Vanda to liquidate the company at the annual shareholder meeting. Report

> There's more drama at Ireland's Elan today. The company said it would refine its business operations and lay off 230 employees in the U.S. and Ireland as part of its ongoing effort to "rigorously manage its overall cost base." Report

> Selecta Biosciences has gained $15.1 million in a Series B financing round. Existing investors Polaris Venture Partners and Flagship Ventures led the round, joined by NanoDimension and immunologist and Harvard Professor Timothy A. Springer. Report

> Just two months after laying off 18 of its 33 staff members, the struggling Panacos is set to pull out the axe once again. The Watertown, MA-based company says it will cut its staff down to four and shutter its Gaithersburg, Maryland facility, effective February 27. Report

And Finally... AstraZeneca is inviting ad agencies to pitch themselves to handle its global brand strategy. Report

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