Spotlight On... FDA approves UCB drug for treating epileptic seizures; Novartis gets breakthrough status for candidate to treat AML; Researchers say approved drugs for Alzheimer's might help smokers quit; and more...

The FDA today approved a drug from Belgium's UCB as an add-on therapy to treat partial seizures caused by epilepsy. The drug, branded Briviact, has also been recommended for approval in Europe. The FDA pointed out that people with epilepsy can have different responses to available treatments so it is important to have more options. Release | More

@FiercePharma: NEJM study finds Actos holds off repeat strokes, heart attacks in insulin-resistant patients. Story | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: New York gives $200M for Athenix to build Buffalo plant. Company pledges 900 jobs over 10 years. Story | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: #ICYMI yesterday: U.K. cost gatekeepers say 'show me' to Alexion's new rare disease med Kanuma. Item | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Novartis ($NVS) has won an FDA breakthrough therapy designation for a drug candidate it is developing to treat myeloid leukemia, or AML. Story

> Pakistan's Health Minister says she will go to court after pharmaceutical companies refused to meet with her to discuss unauthorized price hikes on some of their meds. Story

> Researchers says that two acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, or AChEIs, approved for treating Alzheimer's disease may also work to help people control smoking. Report

> South African drugmaker Aspen says it expects to launch in the U.S. a finished dose form of hydroxyprogesterone approved for the treatment of certain female cancers and hormonal imbalances, by June 30. Release

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: FDA warns two diagnostics players for marketing unapproved tests. More | Follow @FierceMedDev

@EmilyWFierce: AstraZeneca bags EU approval for gout drug Zurampic as it eyes $500M in sales. Article | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Google's life science arm relocating to South San Francisco. More

> Materialise partners with Mathys to offer 3-D printed, personalized shoulder surgery guides. Story

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Novartis' blood cancer drug bags a 'breakthrough' tag on the way to FDA filing. Story | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: ICYMI: Adimab issues a challenge: Use new tech to build a rapid-response R&D platform for infectious diseases. News | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: Voice actors share how they deliver drug ad warnings without sounding, well, scary. More | Follow @DamianFierce

> New Canadian biotech aims for a novel approach to blood cancer, rare disease. Article

> Bottom-dwelling biotech Hemispherx dumps its CEO and vows to stamp out nepotism. Story

Suggested Articles

Pfizer has scored FDA approval for its Humira biosimilar, but it can't launch the product for several years under a patent settlement.

The 3-2 vote on the deal was split along the party lines, spelling trouble for future biopharma M&A deals should Democrats move into the White House.

Recipharm has been building its capabilities in sterile injectable and inhalation drugs. Now it is buying a CDMO that manufactures devices for both.