Supremes uphold $703M award to J&J; U of Minn may ban pharma gifts;

> The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Boston Scientific, leaving intact a jury finding that led to a $703 million award against the company for infringing a Johnson & Johnson patent for coronary stents. Report

> The emergency $700 billion bailout bill includes some good news for biopharma companies. Congress extended the research and development tax credit by two years. The credit had expired at the end of last year. Report

> A University of Minnesota task force recommends prohibiting medical school faculty, residents and students from receiving gifts from drug and device makers, the university's newspaper reports. Report

> BioCryst Pharmaceuticals has laid off 19 workers--about 20 percent of its staff--as it cuts back, waiting for key data on its experimental therapies. BioCryst report

> Stimulant treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder significantly cuts the odds that adolescent girls will smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs, a new Massachusetts General Hospital study shows. Report

> Just seven months after dropping its IPO plans in a brutal market environment, Biolex Therapeutics has raised $60 million from investors in its fourth round and inked a deal to license the commercial rights held by OctoPlus in its lead drug Locteron. Biolex Report

> On a very bad day to release discouraging news, CombinatoRx announced that its lead therapy failed to hit its primary endpoint in a mid-stage trial for osteoarthritis. Its shares cratered, dropping 83 percent. CombinatoRx report

> The U.K. government is urging pharmaceutical companies to lower their initial prices for new drugs, with the promise that the National Health Service will pay more for them if evidence proves greater effectiveness. Report

> Drug stocks were battered Monday as the U.S. stock market experienced one of the worst plunges in history, fueled by continued chaos in the global credit markets. Report

> Philanthropist Lorry Lokey is giving Stanford University School of Medicine $75 million of his fortune to help pay for a $200 million stem cell research center that will bear his name. Report

> An expert panel formed by the University of Minnesota has determined that a PhD student who worked with a team of researchers responsible for a high-profile study involving adult stem cells extracted from bone marrow falsified data in an earlier research report. Report

> An experimental anti-cancer drug can prevent--and even reverse--potentially fatal cardiovascular damage in a mouse model of progeria, a rare genetic disorder that causes the most dramatic form of human premature aging, NIH researchers reported today. Report

And Finally... One more reason your mother said to drink your (Vitamin D) milk: the nutrient might protect you from skin infections. Report