Three bidders still in fight for Mepha; Genzyme sales dip on manufacturing troubles;

> The race for Mepha, the Swiss generics maker being sold by Germany's industrial heir Ludwig Merckle, has narrowed to three bidders who have until Thursday to submit binding offers. Report

> Genzyme reported a small dip in preliminary fourth quarter and full year revenues, driven by declining sales of Cerezyme and Fabrazyme, which have been affected by manufacturing problems. Report

> India's Wockhardt got the tentative nod from FDA for marketing various doses of the antibiotic levofloxacin, a generic version of Ortho McNeil's Levaquin. Report

> Pfizer plans to seek approvals for use of its experimental Prevnar 13 vaccine among adults, expecting the product to eventually generate annual sales of $1.5 billion for that population. Report

> Japanese drugmaker Shionogi received regulatory approval to make and sell its intravenous influenza drug, Rapiacta, in Japan. Report

> India's Dishman Pharmaceuticals plans to set up four new active pharmaceutical ingredient plants, a top executive said. Report

> Aspen Pharmacare, the southern hemisphere's biggest generic-drugs manufacturer, fell in Johannesburg trading as Credit Suisse cut its recommendation to "underperform" from "neutral." Report

Biotech News

> An expert FDA panel has voted 10-3 to support Actelion's Zavesca for a rare illness called Niemann-Pick type C disease. Report

> The last time we checked in with Adventrx Pharmaceuticals, the San Diego-based firm was in what appeared to be its death throes. It had cut all but two of its staff, suspended its development activities and was concentrating all its attention on deal-making. Article

> Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer maintains that he should remain Genzyme's CEO, but Carl Icahn looms. Article

Manufacturing News

> Pfizer roared to two top spots in the 2010 facility of the year competition, thanks to its factories on the Emerald Isle. Report

> Xcellerex's yellow fever vaccine is about to be tested in a Phase I study, marking a clinical-phase milestone for the company. Item

> The transparency-minded FDA of Margaret Hamburg has taken the first step in its see-through makeover: the regulator has unveiled an Internet-based curriculum called "FDA Basics," aimed at helping site visitors understand what it does. FDA news

> Sound familiar? Following several drug "incidents," Hong Kong is beefing up its drug regulatory arm. Report

> Johnson & Johnson tops a list of companies that deliver value across a health care supply chain, from manufacturer to patient. AMR Research, recently acquired by Gartner, conducted the study, which resulted in a top 25 list of drug and device makers, hospitals and distributors, reports Pharmaceutical Commerce magazine. Report

And Finally... Encouraging more patients to continue taking their prescribed cholesterol drugs would stave off twice as many stroke and heart attack deaths as giving the drugs to a wider range of people, scientists said. Report