Schering agrees to $21M California settlement; FDA warns docs of tainted Medicines Co. IV drug;

> Schering-Plough (now owned by Merck) has agreed to pay California $21 million to resolve allegations that it inflated the prices of Albuterol and other drugs. Report

> FDA is warning doctors about 11 recalled lots of an intravenous hypertension drug made by the Medicines Co. that are contaminated with bits of steel. Report

> Facet Biotech said that its shareholders have rejected Biogen Idec's latest offer of about $493 million. Report

> Merck agreed to buy Avecia Biologics for "well below $1 billion" in a step toward its goal of becoming a top maker of biotech drugs. Report

> Japan's Eisai said it would buy U.S. drug firm AkaRx for $255 million and as a result cut its annual net profit forecast by about one-third. Report

> IMS Health convened a special meeting to vote on its $4.2 billion buyout offer in what some consider a move to restore investor confidence in the deal. IMS release

Biotech News

> Faced with an FDA demand to mount a new clinical trial for its late-stage cancer therapy, Vion Pharmaceuticals says it doesn't have the money to comply and has been forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Vion report

> After nine years of work, Ambit Biosciences has forged a $390 million development deal with Japan's Astellas for its lead cancer therapy. Ambit news

> Regado Biosciences has pulled together a $40 million Series D round to push the development of a new technology designed to give doctors better control over blood clots. Article

> New Jersey-based AkaRx is getting bought out for $255 million by Japan's Eisai, which picked up the option to buy the developer when it scooped up MGI Pharma in a $3.9 billion buyout almost two years ago. Report

And Finally... SARS survivors continue to suffer mental health problems, a study found. Report