Shire thinks it can beat rare-disease rivals; AZ hires JP Morgan for Astra Tech sale;

  @FiercePharma: Moody's repeats gloomy view of pharma industry. Article | Follow @FiercePharma

Special Report: Pharma's Biggest Flops. Report 

Special Report: Top 10 Medical Device Companies: 2010. Report 

> Shire believes its record in developing medicines to treat rare diseases, mostly affecting one in 100,000 people or fewer, will help it maintain a lead over bigger rivals that are targeting the sector. News

> AstraZeneca confirmed that it was considering spinning off Astra Tech and had hired JP Morgan Chase (JPM.N) to help with a strategic review of the dental implants and medical devices unit. Report

> A West Virgnia appeals court reversed a $4.5 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson in which the state attorney general charged doctors were misled about risks and benefits of its Risperdal antipsychotic and Duragesic pain patch. Article

> European regulators adopted a new guideline on so-called biosimilar antibody drugs, paving the way for cheaper copies of multi-billion-dollar medicines for cancer and other serious diseases. Item

> Johnson & Johnson's Tibotec unit and the U.S. government separately sued Mylan and Lupin to prevent sales of a generic version of the HIV medicine Prezista. Story

> IMS Health predicts China will become the world's second largest pharmaceutical market by 2015 due to robust economic growth and healthcare reforms that allow for increased spending on drugs. Report

> Doctors are putting pressure on the U.K. government to seal a legal loophole that allows drugmakers to license existing therapies as orphan drugs and then charge exorbitant prices for them. News

> The European Medicines Agency said it was recommending approval for wider use of Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA) and Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY.N) blood thinner Plavix. Story

Biotech News

  @FierceBiotech: Genzyme restructuring moves forward with sale of diagnostic ops. Report | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: Interesting factoid: Bloomberg says that biotech buyers paid a median of 1.37 times market value over the past 5 years. Roche paid 1.25 for Genentech. |  Follow @JohnCFierce

> Bleeding forces Pfizer, BMS to halt apixaban study. News

> Bionor stock skyrockets on unexpected HIV vax results. Report 

> FDA approves Xgeva (denosumab) for oncology indication. Item

> Spectrum sues Cangene for breach of contract. Article

> EU adopts new biosimilar guideline. Report

> BTG buys rival for $242M. Story

And Finally... Europe's drug regulator will make thousands of pages of clinical trial reports public next week after pressure from drug-safety activists. Report