U.S. Attys seek to shutter Actavis plants; Jury orders J&J to pay $16.6M in fentanyl death

> U.S. Attorneys in New Jersey filed a lawsuit seeking a shutdown of three Actavis plants until they are brought into compliance with testing, manufacturing laws and FDA regulations. Report

> Two Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries that make and distribute a painkilling skin patch must pay nearly $16.6 million to the family of a suburban woman who died from a drug overdose while using the product, a jury ruled Monday. Report

> The European Medicines Agency said Sanofi-Aventis has decided to withdraw its application for an extension of indication for the breast cancer treatments Taxotere and Docetaxel Winthrop. Release

> Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is challenging two patents on the AIDS drug Truvada, which are owned by Emory University and licensed exclusively to Gilead Sciences. Report

> Johnson & Johnson is axing its global sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee after less than three years. The move leaves the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and London 2012 without key funding. Report

> Merck KGaA is interested in acquisitions, especially in the US, but the German group is not going to charge into the market despite the credit crunch wiping millions of dollars off the value of possible targets. Report

> Medical device maker Medtronic says its fiscal 2009 second-quarter profit fell, mainly on legal charges for a patent dispute with Johnson & Johnson. Report

> Targeted cancer drugs like Herceptin and Glivec have greatly improved pharma's oncology pipeline success rates, according to a new study. Report

> Scottish pharmaceutical company ProStrakan Group said yesterday it was on course to break even late next year. Report

> Standard & Poor's said Monday drug developer Wyeth will replace Anheuser-Busch Cos. on the S&P 100 index. Report

> Data analyzing Zyrtec's crossover found many patients didn't follow the drug over the counter, according to a Nielsen-Wolters Kluwer Health report. Report

> Researchers found that the leukemia drug Gleevec shows promise at treating or even reversing Type I diabetes. Report

> PDI, a provider of sales and marketing services to the biopharmaceutical industry, on Monday named Nancy Lurker as chief executive. Report

> Merck said it would voluntarily delist its common shares from the NASDAQ OMX-PHLX, formerly the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX), following a decision by the exchange to discontinue the PHLX XLE equity trading platform. Release

> German regulators cleared Eli Lilly's acquisition of all ImClone's common stock at $70 per share. Release

> Hey, it's not all bad news out there. Despite the drumbeat of reports on the fallout from the credit crisis, Pacira and ZafGen report lining up new rounds. Report

> With virtually no new money flowing for construction projects, Alexandria Real Estate Equities has had to postpone the second phase of the East River Science Park. Report

> Reviewers for the FDA say that Theravance's experimental antibiotic telavancin was "possibly" related to some of the deaths reported among volunteers taking the drug. Report

> The Philadelphia Business Journal is outlining the drop in investment cash for biotech companies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Last year, developers in both states were able to haul in over a billion dollars for their work. In the first three quarters of this year, the figure slumped to $550 million. Report

> Renowned Australian scientist Ian Frazier says he's preparing to start clinical trials on a new skin cancer vaccine. The work is related to his groundbreaking research that helped create Merck's Gardasil, a vaccine for cervical cancer. The new vaccine also targets papillomavirus, an infection that helps spur the transformation of abnormal cells into cancer cells. Report

And Finally... A large long-term trial has found that vitamin C and E supplements prevent heart disease no better than placebos. Report