U.K. appeals court upholds Zyprexa patent; Ranbaxy to launch Daiichi med in Africa;

> The U.K. Court of Appeal upheld the validity of Eli Lilly's patent on its blockbuster schizophrenia drug Zyprexa, dealing a blow to generic challenger Dr Reddy's Laboratories. Report

> Ranbaxy Laboratories will launch its parent company Daiichi Sankyo's blood pressure drug Olvance in six African countries. Release

> Dr Reddys Laboratories plans to buy brands in Russia and introduce new products in India as it scales up businesses in key emerging markets. Report

> India's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries sent a letter to shareholders of Israel-based Taro Pharmaceutical Industries, asking them to vote against the election of directors at Taro's annual general meeting. Report

> John Kopchinski, the whistleblower who won a record-setting "qui tam" case against Pfizer, has been named as the most influential person in business ethics for 2009. Report

> The federal government has stopped reimbursing a Miami doctor who wrote nearly 97,000 prescriptions for mental health drugs--such as antipsychotics--to Medicaid patients over 18 months. Report

> Health advocates are calling for tough new rules on the use of anti-psychotic drugs in Illinois nursing homes, including tighter controls on doctors who prescribe the powerful medications. Report

Biotech News

> The recent approval of Novartis' Ilaris for a rare inflammatory disease marks one of the first solid commercial successes for CEO Daniel Vasella's long quest to overhaul the pharma company's pipeline. Researchers targeted the initial indication for the drug after outlining the clear genetic triggers for the disease. And more such approvals are likely to follow. Story

> Shares of Switzerland's Actelion (ATLN) sank after the developer announced that its experimental sleep drug had hit its primary endpoint in a late-stage trial but raised certain unspecified safety issues that needed further analysis. Report

> In a fresh indication of Big Pharma's desire to tap into the future revenue potential presented by stem cell therapies, Pfizer has inked a $111 million deal to license rights to develop Athersys' cell therapy for inflammatory bowel disease. Report

> Seattle Genetics is on a deal-making roll. The developer announced a $402 million pact--including an upfront of $12 million--with GlaxoSmithKline to employ the developer's antibody-drug conjugate technology with multiple antigens to be named by GSK. Story

> A move by Roche and its newly acquired subsidiary Genentech to kill a trio of development pacts within just a few days has triggered some deep-seated fears that the pharma giant is winnowing out programs from its combined pipeline, according to a report in the San Francisco Business Times. Report

Biotech IT News

> The great '08/'09 swine flu bust--and the corresponding great vaccine oversupply--may be easier to avoid during the next potential pandemic, thanks to informatics work underway at Indiana University. Report

> Gene-to-candidate discovery company BioFocus has again turned to Dotmatics for drug discovery software--this time for enterprise query/reporting, data management and data visualization. UK-based Biofocus has been a user since 2006 of the Dotmatics Gateway data-management and -sharing system. Story

> Utrecht University crystallographer Piet Gros and colleagues, working on structures for the immune protein C3b, authored one of three articles on the protein published in a 2006 issue of Nature, according to The Scientist magazine. Another of the articles was published by researcher H.M. Krishna Murthy, then of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Story

> Full-service contract researcher PRA International is automating its advanced planning for Phase I studies. The CRO has selected APS software from Quintiq for trial acceptance and resource allocation at its clinical pharmacology centers in Lenexa, KS, and Groningen, The Netherlands. Report

> A clinical trial automation deal has wandered into systems standardization and data management territory, yielding an IT spending cut of $92 million. Story

> Ten DNA-sequenced volunteers are posting this most private information online, unprotected. You'll recognize some of them by reputation, if not their DNA: pioneering technologist Esther Dyson, and high-ranking individuals from the tech/biotech industries and academia. Report

And Finally... Why is a cancer drug and veterinary de-wormer being added to the U.S. cocaine supply? Report