Sanofi nabs $340M in UN vaccine contracts; Latin American market aims for $80B;

> Sanofi-Aventis said its Shantha Biotechnics unit has been awarded $340 million worth of contracts from the United Nations to supply a combination vaccine. Report

> The eight leading pharmaceutical markets in Latin America will grow by an average of 9.9 percent each year to 2014, when they will be worth a combined $80 billion, a new report says. Report

> French oil and gas company Total has cut its stake in Sanofi-Aventis to 9.09 percent as part of its plan to sell out gradually by the end of 2012. Report

> Ranbaxy Laboratories won an order from the Indian government for 900,000 doses of its generic version of Roche's antiviral Tamiflu. Report

> In an Opththalmology study, researchers found that fluoroquinolone antibiotics--including Cipro, Levaquin and the like--could carry a risk of double vision. Report

> Allergan, which makes eye care products and Botox anti-wrinkle injections, spent $300,000 lobbying Congress in the second quarter, according to a recent disclosure form. Report

> Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals inked a deal with Validus Pharmaceuticals to market and distribute an authorized generic version of Roche's thyroid medication Rocatrol. Release

Biotech News:

> Poisoned by the late-stage failure of its venom-based stroke drug late last year, Neurobiological Technologies says it will close up shop and dissolve the company. Report

> The placebo effect has scuttled the late-stage study of an experimental Parkinson's therapy being co-developed by Acadia Pharmaceuticals and Biovail, and the news immediately triggered a meltdown in Acadia's share price. Report

> The cutting-edge vaccine developer Novavax is on a roll. The developer announced this morning that its trivalent seasonal flu vaccine produced the kind of strong immune response it was looking for against three flu strains--including H1N1--and performed without triggering any serious adverse events in a mid-stage trial. Report

> Shares of Research Triangle Park, NC-based Icagen were buoyed by the news that its experimental allergic asthma therapy proved promising in a mid-stage trial. Article

> Racing to plug a market gap created by the sudden shortage of Cerezyme, the UK's Shire says that it has filed for FDA approval of its new therapy for Gaucher disease ahead of schedule. Report

> The FDA is throwing a hurdle in the way of SkyePharma's experimental asthma therapy Flutiform. As the U.K. developer had feared, the agency is demanding new clinical work on dosing before it will approve the therapy, and that will likely delay any market launch until at least the second half of 2011. News

Manufacturing News

> Kudos to Margaret Poole, the new Genzyme senior VP and site leader at the embattled Allston Landing facility just outside Boston, for getting the plant back on line. Poole says in a Boston Globe report that "no effort will be spared to prevent another virus from contaminating the plant," and that the plant cleanup represents a remediation program that the company will use at all its biologics facilities. Report

> Airlines' management of temperature-controlled pharmaceutical shipments is increasing dramatically. Report

> Overweight pills are making the news these days. Pills become overweight when too much of the drug's API gets weighed out and put in the formulation, says Charlie Carney, a long-time GMP practitioner and consultant who is now an instructor for ISPE. Report

> China is expected to enact a new version of its good manufacturing practices to ensure the quality and safety of national medicines. Future production will need to follow the revised GMP standards, says China Financial Daily. News

> Last week's testimony concerning the creation of a public/private partnership involving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a medical countermeasures vaccine manufacturing facility is being viewed as a well-timed boost for the technology. Report

And Finally... Runners who pop ibuprofen to prevent pain may actually be interfering with their own training. Report