Shire results boosted by newer products; FDA advises slight tweaks to flu vaccine;

> Shire boosted 2008 product sales by 27 percent to $2.75 billion as a decline in Adderall XR sales was offset by revenues from ADHD treatment Vyvanse and two other, newer products. Report

> An FDA advisory panel recommended only a slight change in vaccines designed for the 2009-2010 season from the current vaccine, which protects against infection by three kinds of flu viruses. Report

> Shares in Belgian drugs, chemicals and plastics maker Solvay sank as much as 6.5 percent after its fourth-quarter earnings fell well below market expectations despite promising results of its more recession-resilient pharma arm. Report

> Eli Lilly tapped Ralph Alvarez, chief operating officer and director of McDonald's, to join its board of directors. Report

> Watson Pharmaceuticals saw fourth-quarter net income jump to $56.4 million, or 50 cents a share, compared with $38.4 million, or 34 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Report

> Germany's GPC Biotech and Houston-based Agennix are planning to merge their oncology pipelines. In the deal, GPC is being merged into a new company which will have all of Agennix's shares along with 15 million euros--$20 million--injected by an investment company belonging to Dietmar Hopp, who has extensive biotech holdings. Report

> Shares of the UK's Neuropharm took a nasty beating after the biotech reported that its late-stage trial for an experimental autism therapy flunked its primary endpoint. With analysts all but writing off the drug's future prospects, investors ripped out a 66 percent chunk of its stock value. Neuropharm report

> Lamenting that sizeable cash reserves, an active and closely-watched mid-stage cancer trial and some hefty net operating loss carryforwards aren't enough to keep its stock price up, executives at CuraGen have brought in an investment banker to undertake a strategic review that will consider everything from a possible sale of the company to the acquisition of new assets. Curagen report

> An industry survey concludes that India's young biotech industry grew at a healthy, 20 percent clip last year. That's fast growth, says the Association of Biotech Led Enterprises, but not as fast as the 30 percent growth rate that the industry had grown accustomed to. Report

> A new study indicates that a pneumonia vaccine can significantly cut the risk of heart disease. Report

> An experimental oral vaccine has demonstrated that it may be able to protect people from an anthrax attack. Report

And Finally... New research at Genentech is challenging conventional thinking about Alzheimer's disease, providing a provocative theory about its cause and suggesting potential new targets for therapies to treat it. Report

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