Sanofi selling off French plant; GSK said to be chasing Aspen Pharma;

> Sanofi-Aventis plans to sell its Colomiers production site in southwest France, a liquid-product facility that employs 200, to its subcontractor Unither. Report

> Could GlaxoSmithKline be looking at Aspen Pharmacare Holdings, Africa's largest pharma manufacturer? The Johannesburg company announced that it was in unspecified merger talks, but industry observers say it's a potential takeover target for GSK. Report

> Teva Pharmaceutical Industries asked a U.S. appeals court to lift an order that prevents it from selling a copy of Eli Lilly and Co.'s osteoporosis treatment Evista. Report

> ViroPharma has sued two federal agencies in the latest installment of an ongoing battle to protect its top-selling product from what is calls "unsafe and ineffective" generic competition. Report

> Pfizer's worldwide R&D layoff is expected to cut up to 240 jobs from its U.K. workforce, the company has announced. Report

> Rates of pneumococcal meningitis, a potentially life-threatening infection, have declined substantially since Wyeth's Prevnar vaccine was introduced in 2000, a new study shows. Report

> Merck asked the FDA to extend the use of its HIV drug Isentress to previously untreated patients; the med already is approved for patients who show evidence of antiviral resistance. Release

> Forest Laboratories and Cypress Bioscience got the FDA nod for their fibromyalgia treatment Savella. Report

> Parexel International, a global biopharmaceutical services organization, appointed Josephine Hoppe as corporate vice president and chief information officer. Release

> Analysts at Frost & Sullivan say the booming vaccines market will more than double in the seven years leading up to 2014. Report

> BioWorld details the strategy adopted by QureInvest, a new venture firm that is taking stakes in European start-up developers. Report

> Sequenom isn't taking 'no' for an answer to its bid to acquire Exact Sciences. The company announced this morning that its earlier offer to buy the cancer test developer--which had been rejected--is going hostile. Report

> Novartis says that its experimental cancer therapy Afinitor produced positive data in a mid-stage trial, setting the stage for a late-stage study. The research team now plans to begin enrolling patients for the Phase III trial this year. Report

> Regulators at the FDA presented Schering-Plough with a new obstacle for Saphris, its experimental therapy for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, declining to give it an approval. But the agency did not request a new clinical trial, which would have significantly delayed its approval. Report

> Cephalon has agreed to pay Ception Therapeutics $100 million for an option to buy the company. And it will pay $250 million for Ception's closely-held stock--provided its late-stage drug program lives up to its potential. Report

And finally ... Pfizer is campaigning against counterfeit meds -- in U.K. movie theaters. Report

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