Sanofi horsetrading with EU on Zentiva; J&J wins round in stent case;

> Sanofi-Aventis has proposed concessions to get the green light from EU regulators for its proposed buyout of Czech generic drugs company Zentiva, extending review of the deal through February 4. Report

> Johnson & Johnson won an important round in its long-running patent litigation over its heart stents, making it more likely that Boston Scientific will eventually have to pay J&J more than $700 million. Report

> Polpharma has dropped its plans to buy a 33 percent stake in Bioton, and the smaller company's CEO, Adam Wilczega, is stepping down in the wake of the collapsed deal. Report

> The EMEA's Committee for Medicinal Products has recommended that infants, children and adolescents be given priority access to Genzyme's Myozyme (alglucosidase alfa) during an expected shortage of the medicine over the next few months. Report

> Bristol-Myers Squibb will announce results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2008 on Jan. 27 and will host a 10:30 a.m. conference call with investors and analysts that day. Release

> Warner Chilcott and Mayne Pharma filed suit against Sandoz, the generics arm of Novartis, alleging patent infringement involving Mayne's antibiotic Doryx. Release

> Berkeley, CA-based Xoma is cutting 42 percent of it workforce--144 jobs--most of which are in manufacturing. Xoma, which is developing the anti-inflammatory antibody XOMA 052, will retain 197 employees as it continues work on the drug. Report

> Novartis has gained the option to develop and commercialize Peptimmune's multiple sclerosis drug candidate PI-2301, in a deal that could be worth up to $500 million. Report

> BioNovo said that the company is cutting about 15 percent of its staff, freezing the salaries of remaining employees and recommending to the Board of Directors that execs not receive their management bonuses for 2008. Report

> The FDA has approved Forest Laboratories and Cypress Bioscience's fibromyalgia drug Savella. Only two other drugs--Pfizer's Lyrica and Eli Lilly's Cymbalta--are approved to treat the condition. Report

> Four Indian drugmakers--Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Aurobindo Pharma, Lupin and Orchid Chemicals--got the FDA nod to sell generic versions of UCB's seizure treatment Keppra (levetiracetam). Report

> When Pfizer R&D chief Martin MacKay addressed the recent JP Morgan conference, he left no doubt how interested the pharma giant is in new biotech therapies--particularly therapeutic vaccines. Analysts quickly pointed to Pfizer's licensing deal with Avant Immunotherapeutics' brain cancer vaccine as a case in point. Report

> California drug development companies have poured billions of dollars into drug R&D, making the state one of the world's biggest hubs for biomedical research. However, a new report from BayBio finds that, from a manufacturing standpoint, the state isn't prepared to deal with its success. Report

> Over the past eight years a vaccine that guards against pneumococcal meningitis has slashed the number of new cases posted for children under the age of two. Report

And Finally... Beauty products may be a small percentage of Johnson & Johnson's $60 billion portfolio now, but the company wants to "step up beauty," J&J's chairman for beauty care said this week. Report