UCB to double staff at Swiss biopharma plant; Merck agrees to settle NY, FL Vioxx claims;

 @FiercePharma: Bloomberg's take on Multaq's failure in that permanent AF study: Sanofi med doubled risk of death pharma $SNY. News | Follow @FiercePharma

> Belgium's UCB said it would double its workforce at a bioproduction facility in Bulle, Switzerland, to 400 from 200 by the time it opens in 2015. Report

> Merck ($MRK) has agreed to settle claims from New York and Florida, which had alleged that the company failed to adequately disclose the risks of its now-withdrawn painkiller Vioxx. News

> Amgen ($AMGN) said EU regulators approved new uses for its Vectibix drug in combination with chemotherapy in colorectal cancer patients; previously the treatment was approved as monotherapy. Amgen release

> China's drug regulator has begun inspecting overseas manufacturing facilities as the proportion of imported medicines grows along with its domestic pharma market. Story

> The American Medical Association voted to back legislation designed to ease ongoing shortages of key drugs. Release

> Sun Pharmaceuticals protested the Indian government's new pricing policy, saying that it could lead to shortages of key drugs. Article

> Sinclair IS Pharma sold its tremor drug Mysoline to France's Laboratoires Serb for ₤11.1 million ($17.6 million). Piece

> ThermalTherapeutic Systems has tapped a new president and CEO, Gardiner Smith, to lead the launch of its product Veratherm, which won FDA approval last year. News

> Singapore's Invida bought the dermatology brand portfolio of India's Shalaks Pharmaceuticals, including anti-acne, anti-fungal and anti-scar topical treatments, along with other products. Report

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: Special worms win over mice as Parkinson's drug tool. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: There's no way to sugarcoat it. Geron's decision to abandon ESC work is a major setback for the field. Going to China? News | Follow @JohnCFierce

 @RyanMFierce: With Alex Denner leaving Icahn's group, does he resign from biotech boards he sits on through Icahn-backed campaigns? | Follow @RyanMFierce

 @MaureenFierce: FDA says Pfizer's best-selling Prevnar vaccine is comparable to Merck's vaccine. Story | Follow @MaureenFierce

> Icahn biotech whiz Denner jumps ship after 5 turbulent years. Story

> Geron abandons pioneering stem cell program, lays off 66. News

Biotech Research News

> A possible way to stop a tumor from spreading: Look inside. Story

> Ziopharm goes organic for potential prostate cancer treatment. Report 

> Special worms win over mice as Parkinson's drug tool. Item

> Drug cuts off fat-tissue blood supply in monkeys and mice. Story

Manufacturing News

> IMS advises risk-based warning system for drug shortages. Item

> Booz offers 5 steps to reinvent supply chain. Report

> Five die in pharma plant fire. News

> FDA visits Indian plant after meningitis outbreak. Article

> Pfizer transforms manufacturing for 'dynamic market.' Story

> AMA counts to 10 before voting drug shortages position. News

And Finally... Smugglers are bringing an older version of the often-abused painkiller OxyContin into the U.S. from Canada. Report