Sanofi to pay $95M in Medicaid dispute; Moody's: Still plan to cut Pfizer debt;

> Sanofi-Aventis will pay $95.5 million to settle allegations that it overcharged state Medicaid programs for anti-inflammatory nasal sprays. Report

> The Gerresheimer Group today opened a new plant for pharmaceutical glass packaging in Danyang, China, bringing its tally of facilities in that country to seven. Release

> Moody's Investors Service assigned investment-grade ratings to Pfizer's latest offering of senior notes, but the ratings agency said it still expects to lower its overall rating on the drugmaker. Report

> The Australian government has bought an additional 1.6 million courses of GlaxoSmithKline's Relenza treatment for pandemic flu. Report

> Citigroup upgraded Sanofi-Aventis to "buy" from "hold" on anticipated data from this weekend's ASCO meeting, among other things. Report

> AstraZeneca's goal of marketing its schizophrenia drug Seroquel XR as a treatment for major depression has been set back by a rejection from Dutch regulators, delaying its path to market in Europe. Report

>  GlaxoSmithKline is in talks to buy a 51 percent stake in India's unlisted Shantha Biotech after prospective bidder Sanofi-Aventis dropped out, the Economic Times said on Friday. Report

> U.S. generics maker Mylan has appointed Jolene Varney as its new executive vice president and CFO. Report

> The U.K.'s Office of Fair Trading is beginning its investigation of the proposed combo of GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer's HIV drug operations into one company. Report

> Takeda Pharmaceutical will package its leading brands of over-the-counter drugs specifically for sale at convenience stores following deregulation next month, the Nikkei business daily said without citing sources. Report

> Mylan got tentative FDA approval for its version of Merck's Singulair allergy-and-asthma drug. Report

> Mid-stage studies of Poniard Pharmaceuticals' picoplatin delivered positive data for advanced colorectal cancer as well as advanced prostate cancer, setting the schedule for likely Phase III studies in 2010. Report

> Waltham, MA-based Proteon Therapeutics has rounded up $12 million in a second close of its second round, raising its take in the Series B to an even $50 million. Report

> The deluge of new cancer data to be revealed at ASCO has begun with Novartis and Roche both touting positive results for new therapies designed to fight tumors. Report

>Genentech has submitted--and had accepted--two proposals to an FDA pilot program intended to test quality by design concepts. Report 

> Sometimes you don't even have to have an actual development pact to get investors revved up, as Neuropharm proved today. The UK biotech told investors that it's getting close to a deal for NPL-2008--its lead autism drug--and investors responded by pushing its stock up 45 percent. Report

> Exelixis announced this morning that it will license a pair of early-stage cancer drugs to Sanofi-Aventis in a pact that's worth $140 million upfront and could eventually break the billion-dollar mark. Report

> Underscoring just how important it is for all children to get vaccinated against diseases, a new study concludes that children who don't get the jab for whooping cough are 23 times more likely to get the disease than children who do get vaccinated. Report

> With new cases of swine flu springing up daily, Australia has ordered 10 million doses of a new vaccine being developed by CSL, which is engaged in a worldwide race to develop a jab as governments around the globe start lining up to buy. Report

> Genentech has submitted--and had accepted--two proposals to an FDA pilot program intended to test quality by design concepts. The filings are part of an effort in which Genentech is working with the FDA on a case study designed to illustrate key principles of the quality by design manufacturing concept. Report

> Majorities of toxicologists rate most government agencies as accurately portraying chemical risks, but they rate leading environmental activist groups as overstating risks and some industry groups as understating risks, according to the survey by George Mason University researchers. Report

And Finally... International scientists say they have found the first evidence of resistance to the world's most effective drug for treating malaria. Report

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