Sloan oncologist laments drug prices; Biogen reports eighth PML case;

> A Sloan Kettering oncologist takes issue with the rapidly rising cost of cancer medications, saying that many new meds are priced as if they're "home runs" rather than simply add-on treatments for multidrug cocktails. Report

> Biogen Idec reported that an eighth patient on its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, sold with Elan, has developed the rare brain infection PML. Report

> Bayer chief Werner Wenniing said debt reduction and securing liquidity was taking precedence over acquisitions during the economic crisis, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported. Report

> Rates of mental illness in China are higher than previously estimated, and only 12 percent of those with mood disorders had ever been treated by a healthcare professional. Report

> Regulators are taking aim at companies marketing products on the Internet that claim to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure the H1N1 flu virus. Report

> The American Medical Association adopted a new policy on anti-aging hormones, saying there's no proof they work and some have risks. Report

> Despite generic erosion of key brands, the hospital-acquired gram-negative infections drug market will increase by $1 billion from 2008 to 2018 in the U.S. and six other countries. Release

> The rising tide of gout--an extremely painful arthritis of the big toe and other joints--is leading the pharmaceutical industry to rediscover a "disease of the past." Report

> Serge Gouin, chairman of Quebecor Media and director at Biovail since last August, bought 30,000 Biovail shares Monday for prices ranging from $13.95 to $14.07. Report

Biotech News

> Shares of Savient Pharmaceuticals barreled ahead more than 50 percent this morning after analysts had a chance to digest FDA staff remarks on the gout drug Krystexxa, which is up for a panel review next Tuesday. Report

> Economic development officials are playing their cards close to their vests, but the Atlanta Business Chronicle says that Georgia is on a short list of states competing for a major biotech project that could deliver around 1,000 jobs. Report

> With a full-scale pandemic alert lifting share prices at the world's leading vaccine companies, researchers are leaping into experimental trials with an eye to taking the lead in the frenzied race to produce the world's first approved swine flu vaccine. Report

> The UK's GlaxoSmithKline has forged a wide-ranging development and marketing pact with India's Dr. Reddy's at the same time it applied the coup de grace to its deal with Synta Pharmaceuticals for the troubled elesclomol program. Report

Bioresearch News

> Faced with the threat of attacks from animal rights activists, the University of Iowa is taking its animal research lab underground. Report

> Wayne State University has teamed up with an innovative company created by a group of former Pfizer scientists to advance a new therapy discovered in one of its academic labs into clinical development. Report

> Following the Obama administration's decision to loosen the purse strings on federal support of stem cell research, scientists at the Stem Cell Research Forum of India expect discovery work in the subcontinent to barrel ahead to an estimated $540 million next year with an annual growth rate of 15 percent. Report

> Eli Lilly is opening up a web portal that might just open up new collaborative initiatives with lab researchers around the world. Report

And Finally...  Sen. Edward Kennedy's plan to expand health-care coverage would cost about $1 trillion over 10 years and provide coverage to about 16 million more people, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Report