UK group want to end pharma gifts; Pfizer fires Chantix ad agency;

> A group of medical experts in the UK is expected to recommend that drugmakers stop giving promotional gifts to doctors, out of fears of conflicts of interest. Report

> Pfizer is dumping Chantix ad agency McCann HumanCare in favor of Mcgarrybowen, in hopes of reversing a decline in sales of the stop-smoking drug. Report

> Health services conglomerate MDS--parent of MDS Pharma Services--has set up a directors' committee to evaluate ways to boost shareholder value, in apparent confirmation of rumors that the company might break itself up into smaller units. Report

> American Peptide is plotting an expansion of its GMP manufacturing facility in Vista, CA, which will increase its capacity for bulk orders from pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Report

> Teva Pharmaceutical Industries started shipping its version of the Johnson & Johnson antipsychotic drug Risperdal after it was approved by FDA on Friday. Report

> Fifteen European countries have given the nod to Ipsen and Gladerma's Azzalure, a muscle relaxant intended for dermatologic and aesthetic use. Report

> India's Sun Pharmaceutical said it's on the lookout to buy a midsize generics maker in the U.S. in hopes of growing its share of the market here; meanwhile, the company posted a 28 percent increase in net profits for its fiscal third quarter. Report

> BioMS Medical shares plunged more than 30 percent today on the news that its phase II trial MINDSET-01--designed to evaluate dirucotide in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis--did not meet its primary endpoint, in terms of the annualized relapse rate, or its associated secondary MRI endpoints. BioMS report

> Drug and vaccine developer GenVec announced today that it is reducing its headcount to keep costs in control. Twenty-two positions will be eliminated, leaving the company with 101 employees. GenVec report

> Alexza Pharmaceuticals announced today that it's consolidating operations and cutting 52 jobs--33 percent of its staff--in the process. The company expects the move to reduce its expenses by approximately $21.5 million this year and $11.1 million in 2010. Report

> Private equity group Deerfield Capital has agreed to pay $36 million in an all-cash deal for struggling biotech NitroMed. Report

Emerging Drug Developer: Enlight Biosciences

And Finally... Stem cell therapy was able to reverse the neurological damage inflicted by multiple sclerosis, according to a new study. And the procedure, which relies on bone marrow cells, could offer a radically new approach to treating a notoriously drug-resistant condition. Report


Using AI and RWD to Uncover Rare Disease Insights, Accelerate Commercialization and Improve Patient Outcomes

Wednesday, March 24 | 2pm ET / 11am PT

Learn how transformed real world data into real world insights to assist Audentes in their development of AT132 for the treatment of XLMTM. The session reviews how IPM.ia and Audentes collaborated to uncover the XLMTM patient population.