TX, NJ courts toss out Vioxx judgments; Sun may sue Taro over canceled deal; and much more

> Courts in Texas and New Jersey threw out early Vioxx-related judgments against Merck worth $26 million and $9 million respectively. Report

> Sun Pharma is threatening legal action against Taro Pharmaceuticals, which terminated their $454 million merger agreement yesterday. Report

> Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to acquire cancer specialist Kosan Biosciences for about $190 million, a 233 percent premium over yesterday's stock close. Report

> Eli Lilly asked the FDA to expand the use of its Cymbalta antidepressant to cover the management of chronic pain; it's already approved for use against diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain. Report

> The prescription habits of psychiatrists are strongly influenced by pharmaceutical "propaganda," a leading expert in the field has claimed in the latest issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. Report

Antisoma has received a $25 million milestone payment from Novartis, triggered by the recent initiation of a phase III trial of ASA404 in non-small cell lung cancer. Release

> New trial data shows that the combination of a chemotherapy drug and a new vaccine significantly prolonged the survival of patients with glioblastoma, the aggressive brain cancer that now afflicts Senator Ted Kennedy. Vaccine report

> Denmark's Bavarian Nordic has launched a Phase I/II trial of an experimental HIV vaccine. Safety data from the study is expected by the end of this year with immunogenicity data following in the first half of next year. Report

> Researchers have begun human studies of a new vaccine that is designed to block or reverse type 1 diabetes. A team at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh is loading microspheres with nucleic acid. Report

> Bothell, WA-based Sonus Pharmaceuticals is merging with Canada's OncoGenex Technologies and will operate under the name OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals. OncoGenex's CEO Scott Cormack will head up the new company. Merger report

> Lexicon is reorganizing and cutting staff as it pursues its aggressive strategy to build its pipeline. The cuts will allow Lexicon to devote its resources to its strategic, business, and clinical development initiatives. Lexicon didn't discuss numbers but said facilities in Texas and New Jersey would feel the brunt of the cuts. Layoff report

> Merck's experimental osteoporosis drug odanacatib turned in positive results in a Phase II trial. Merck report

> Denmark's Santaris has kicked off a Phase I study of SPC3649, a potential treatment for hepatitis C infection. Report

And Finally... Does the rise in allergies and autoimmune diseases mean that we're too clean for our own good? Report