Stiefel workers sue over stock buyback; Noven chief in line for $2.4M deal windfall;

> A lawsuit filed by three former Stiefel Laboratories employees alleges that in the months leading up to a multibillion-dollar sale of the company to GlaxoSmithKline, Stiefel bought back stock from employees on the cheap. Report

> Noven CEO Peter Brandt could receive a $2.4 million change-of-control payment in the acquisition of his company by Japan's Hisamitsu. Report

> Merck Serono said Japanese regulators granted approval to extend the indication of GONAL-f to infertile women suffering from irregular or no ovulation. Release

> Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals has been hit with four individual federal lawsuits--three in Ohio, one in Wisconsin--involving the safety of its popular birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin. And plaintiffs lawyers vow that plenty more are in the pipeline. Report

> Watson Laboratories filed for FDA approval for its version of Allergan's Sanctura XR drug for urinary incontinence. Report

Biotech News

> A report from research group Visiongain found that despite the short-term slowdown, contract research outfits can look forward to strong growth in the clinical trials market over the next 10 years. Report

> The Department of Health and Human Services will hand out $884 million in funding to buy more ingredients an antigen and an adjuvant for swine flu vaccines. This is in addition to the $1 billion HHS committed to fighting the disease in May. Report

> More good news for Targacept: the company has announced favorable results from a Phase II trial of TC-5214 as an add-on treatment for major depressive disorder in subjects who did not respond to first-line treatment with Forest Labs' Celexa alone. Report

> With the help of new investor OVP Venture Partners South San Francisco's Limerick BioPharma has rounded up $15 million in Seriec C funding. Previous investors ARCH Venture Partners, Sevin Rosen Funds and Altitude Funds also participated in the round. Report

Vaccine News

> Novavax began this year--one of the rockiest in biotech history--with $22 million in convertible debt. But the last $5 million was paid off earlier in the week as the developer cleared the books of debt. Report

> San Diego-based Inovio BioMedical is touting the results of a new animal study for its DNA swine flu vaccine. A double-dose of the vaccine triggered protective antibody responses in 100 percent of the pigs tested. Report

> Novartis says it's using both a traditional egg-based as well as a cell-based approach in developing a new vaccine for swine flu. And the pharma giant says it expects to launch a clinical trial of a new jab before the end of the month as it racks up huge orders from countries around the globe. Report

> Faced with their first pandemic in four decades, health officials around the globe are scrambling to line up big supplies of a new vaccine in what is shaping up as a multibillion-dollar windfall for the world's biggest manufacturers. Report

And Finally... After years of being dismissed as a secondary business, animal healthcare has become a coveted niche for pharmaceutical companies looking for new growth markets. Report

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