Schering settles Clarinex patent fight; J&J posts 14% hike in 4Q profits;

> Generics maker GeoPharma settled a patent fight with Schering-Plough and Sepracor, allowing it to launch a copycat version of the allergy med Clarinex by July 2012. Release

> Johnson & Johnson says fourth-quarter profit rose 14 percent to $2.71 billion, topping Wall Street forecasts, but the company expects weaker results in 2009. Report

> Generic drug developer Teva Pharmaceutical and Lonza Group said Monday they are forming a joint venture to make and sell copies of biotechnology-based drugs. Release

> Novartis nabbed the rights to market Intercell's Japanese Encephalitis vaccine in Japan and Korea. Report

> Zenotech Laboratories, an affiliate of Ranbaxy Laboratories, asked Daiichi Sankyo to raise its bid for 20 percent of the company, which Daiichi made to comply with Indian law covering its acquisition of a controlling stake in Ranbaxy. Report

> The FDA warned consumers and health-care providers about the serious and life-threatening risks of using topical anesthetics improperly. Report

> Covance has won final approval to open up a new, $100 million animal research center in Arizona. When it's fully operational, Covance says the research facility will employ up to 500 people. Report

> There's a growing belief in scientific circles that the old theory that aging is the natural result of gradually tiring cells isn't accurate. Instead, many researchers are advocating a new approach, one which sees aging as a deliberate molecular process that can be manipulated following new research into the molecular machinery at work. Report

> Forest Laboratories earned $188 million, or 62 cents a share, in its third quarter compared to $302 million, or 96 cents a share, in the same period a year ago; sales were essentially flat. Report

> Pfizer has run into a roadblock at the FDA in its longrunning quest to gain an approval for its experimental osteoporosis drug Fablyn. The pharma giant says the FDA has asked for more information on the drug. Report

> Abraxis BioScience is spinning off Abraxis Health, creating a standalone company that will operate in the personalized medicine arena. Report

> San Diego-based Metabasis Therapeutics has joined the ranks of the restructuring. The company says it will reduce its workforce by about 43 percent, or 38 employees. Report

> The annual JP Morgan conference in San Francisco helped underscore the dramatically different futures that face big pharma and biotech compared with the small developers operating in the field. Big outfits like Roche are still very much cash-rich. Report

> Belgian biotech Cardio3 BioSciences has rounded up €13.7 million from venture groups and grants. Cardio3 raised €7.2 million in a Series B and an additional €6.5 million in cash advances from the Walloon Region General Directorate for Economy, Employment & Research. Report

> India's Dr. Reddy's Laboratories reported a fiscal third-quarter net profit of INR1.92 billion ($40 million), helped by sales of the generic migraine drug Imitrex. Report

> Eisai won the FDA nod for its seizure drug Banzel, for the adjunctive treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in adults and children 4 years and older. Report

> AstraZeneca said its cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor is now available in Germany, after receiving formal approval by health authorities at the end of December 2008. Report

> McKesson said it has offered to buy Montreal-based drugstore chain operator Uniprix, turning up the heat in the battle for market share in Quebec. Report

> The antiretroviral drug nevirapine may help prevent babies of HIV-positive mothers from getting the virus through breast-feeding, but it also greatly increases the odds of developing drug-resistant HIV if they are infected during the first year of life. Report

Emerging Drug Developer: Hydra Biosciences

And Finally... Drug resistant ear, nose and throat infections are increasing nationwide among children, the result of a growing prevalence of resistant staph bacteria passed increasingly in communities. Report