Teva sets aside $315M for settlements; CVS, Walgreen may gain on patent cliff;

 @FiercePharma: Bristol-Myers freezes 2010 salaries. Report | Follow @FiercePharma 

> Teva Pharmaceutical says it is settling several lawsuits related to Medicaid reimbursement for its products and is setting aside $315 million to cover the settlement and other suits. Report

> Profit at CVS Caremark Corp. and Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. pharmacy chains, may rise at least 20 percent starting next year as branded drugs with more than $100 billion in sales become available as generics. Report

> A collaboration between the FDA's top drug official and scientists for a pharmaceutical company on research during the 2008 heparin crisis--a time when the firm had a drug application pending--did not constitute a conflict of interest, FDA legal counsel Ralph Tyler said. Report

> Foreign pharmaceutical firms may lose their monopoly over more than a dozen medicines in India this year unless they can prove the drugs are being manufactured locally and are available at reasonable prices. Report

> Vertex Pharmaceuticals' fourth-quarter loss widened as an asset-impairment charge offset higher revenue. The results beat Wall Street estimates. Report

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: Glaxo to shutter neuro programs, creates new unit for rare diseases. Report | Follow @FierceBiotech

   @JohnCFierce: The Pfizer and GSK news shows that the focus is shifting from in-house to in-licensing. Less and less job security in Big Pharma R&D. Follow @JohnCFierce    

> Allergan revealed that it acquired Serica Technologies at the end of last year. Story

> Shares of Optimer Pharmaceuticals zoomed up 20 percent after the developer announced another set of promising data from a large, late-stage study of its experimental antibiotic, fidaxomicin. Report

> The Bay Area biomedical sector nudged up total employment by 539 jobs last year, according to a new survey. Article

> A federal case over who can patent and own genetic material could influence the future of the biotech industry.  Story

> GlaxoSmithKline's plans to reengineer its pipeline have provoked an angry response from a group of European labor unions. Report

> Novato, CA-based BioMarin has struck a deal to acquire LEAD Therapeutics, a small biotech with a pre-clinical oral oncology drug in the pipeline for genetically defined cancers. Story

And Finally... Overeating in mice triggers a molecule once considered to be only involved in detecting and fighting viruses to also destroy normal metabolism, leading to insulin resistance and setting the stage for diabetes, according to the results of a new study led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. Report