Sanofi buys Pfizer insulin plant; Rotavirus vaccines rec'd by WHO;

> Sanofi-Aventis bought Pfizer's Diabel manufacturing facility in Frankfurt-Hochst, Germany, one of the largest, state-of-the-art insulin manufacturing plants in the world. Report

> Vaccines against rotavirus, the main cause of severe diarrhea in preschoolers, were recommended for global use by the World Health Organization, which may boost sales for producers Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. Report

> ICICI Venture, the private equity unit of India's ICICI Bank, signed a definitive deal to sell Vetnex Animal Health to a unit of Pfizer. Report

> It could take about two years to see any impact on sales of Shire's hyperactivity drug Vyvanse following its recently-launched collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, Shire's chief executive told Reuters. Report

> Pharma watchdog Sen. Chuck Grassley says President Barack Obama has "got nerve" to go sightseeing in Paris while telling lawmakers it's time to deliver on a health-care overhaul. Report

> The government needs to create a public health insurance plan because many parts of the country are monopolized by a single private health insurer, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Friday in an interview. Report

> India's Palomar Medical Technologies said U.S. health regulators approved over-the-counter marketing of its laser device for treatment of wrinkles around the eyes, sending the aesthetic device maker's shares up as much as 60 percent. Report

Biotech News

> Novavax saw its stock soar 75 percent to a high of $3.26 last week after the Rockville, MD-based company announced it will be working with the National Institutes of Health to evaluate its first batch of H1N1 vaccine. Report

> Merck's plans for acute heart failure drug rolofylline (MK-7418) took a hit this morning as the company announced a Phase III trial of the drug missed primary and secondary endpoints. Report

> Proximagen Neuroscience has landed $80.5 million in funding in what's being billed as one of the largest rounds of U.K. biotech funding in the last 10 years. Report

> PPD is facing yet another delay for its diabetes drug alogliptin. The Wilmington, NC-based CRO anticipated that its partner Takeda would submit the application for alogliptin to the EMEA within the next few months. Unfortunately for PPD, Takeda has decided not to seek European approval for the drug candidate just yet. Report

> Johnson & Johnson's Ortho Biotech has signed a five-year agreement with the National Cancer Institute. The two parties will research and develop adoptive immunotherapy technologies as potential treatments for a variety of cancers. Report

And Finally... Women are a rare sight at any biotech CEO conference, but Massachusetts has seen a sudden surge with three new female chiefs appointed to helm drug developers since last summer. Report