Sebelius nomination clears Finance Committee; India bars Avandia, Caduet from patent coverage;

> Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius won the endorsement of a divided Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, probably clearing the way for her confirmation as President Obama's secretary of Health and Human Services. Report

> Indian officials rejected two more Big Pharma patent applications: GlaxoSmithKline's request for a patent on its diabetes med Avandia because it didn't show "enhanced efficacy" over its parent compound, and Pfizer's' request for protection of its cholesterol drug combo Caduet because its development lacked an "inventive step." Report

> Merck Serono has started launching Kuvan, a treatment for hyperphenylalaninaemia, in Europe, beginning with France, Germany and the U.K. Report

> Pharma industry leaders in India fear that GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer's HIV joint venture could harm Indian companies that make generic versions of their anti-AIDS drugs. Report

> Genzyme said its first-quarter net income rose to $195.5 million, or 70 cents a share, from $145.3 million, or 52 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Report

> Elected officials, community and business leaders, and others turned out Tuesday morning for the dedication of Pfizer's downtown Kalamazo, Mich., research facility. Report

> Watson Pharmaceuticals asked the FDA to approve its versions of two Reckitt Benckiser Mucinex (guaifenesin extended release) products. Watson release

> Mass High Tech takes a look at a number of research institutions and start-up companies that have been honing their bioinformatics skills to help improve developers' (miserable) odds in advancing new therapeutics. Report

> A team of researchers at Cancer Research Technology says that a new drug that targets PKD in tumors has demonstrated a promising ability to target pancreatic and lung cancer. Report

> Looking to expand its research pipeline and get ready for the day when Provenge won't be its lead development program anymore, Dendreon has launched a Phase I trial of a new oral cancer drug. Report

> Veteran biotech executive Gabriel Cipau has launched a new developer in Research Triangle Park. Report

> The head of a major British biotech industry group says that the government is likely to unveil a billion-pound "fund of funds" designed to greatly increase the amount of venture capital flowing to developers. Report

> Medarex and Massachusetts Biologic Laboratory will share an upfront payment of $60 million and up to $165 million in milestones from Merck, which is licensing an antibody they discovered for C. difficile infection. Report

> Amylin Pharmaceuticals' lead director James Wilson says that Carl Icahn wants to arrange a quick sale of the company to Eli Lilly. But first he's planning some deep cuts on top of a restructuring already in place. And James Wilson thinks the whole proposal is a terrible idea. Report

And Finally... Specialized "brain fitness" software can help schizophrenia patients with cognitive problems, research shows. Report

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