Vertex wins $12M in tax breaks for Boston HQ; Appeals court raises bar on patent challenges;

 @FiercePharma: Vertex to field small, specialized sales force on Incivek. Item | Follow @FiercePharma

> Vertex Pharmaceuticals' $1 billion plan to build a new Boston headquarters cleared its final hurdle as the city council supported $12 million in tax breaks--just two days after the drugmaker won FDA approval of its promising hepatitis C treatment. Report

> Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have debated Republican proposals to reduce the FDA's budget by 11.5 percent in fiscal 2012. News

> A U.S. appeals court that specializes in patent disputes made it harder for patents to be declared invalid because of gaps or errors in patent applications. Article

> Several environment and health-advocacy groups are suing the FDA to ban the widespread use of two antibiotics in animal feed to treat livestock. Item

> JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals plans to focus on its contract research and manufacturing business to build its position in the fast-growing sector, a senior official said, after JB sold its over-the-counter brands in Russia. Report

> Health authorities in Germany granted regulatory approval for GW Pharmaceuticals' Sativex to be used for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. News

> UBS downgraded chemicals and pharmaceuticals group Bayer to neutral from buy, citing valuation. Piece

> A U.S. appeals court ruled that a lower court was wrong to declare an Abbott Laboratories patent unenforceable, and sent the case back to the lower court. Story

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: Pfizer investigator questions cause of deaths in tofacitinib trial. News | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: The $1B federal Therapeutic Disc Program was a big hit with thousands of biotechs - now there's a new bill to add $7B more through 2017. Follow @JohnCFierce

> Genentech scientists blaze a trail into the brain for antibodies. Story 

> Will lawmakers double down on popular R&D awards? News

> Pfizer turns to CROs as it upends huge R&D operation. Story 

> Keeping score: U.S. brainpower draws biotech R&D stateside. Report

> J&J lays out blockbuster R&D strategy, plans for 11 new meds. Item 

Vaccines News

> A look at HIV/AIDS vaccines in development. Story

> Prima BioMed to raise cash for ovarian cancer vaccine trial. News 

> Systems biology key to vaccine breakthroughs? Report

> WHO: Smallpox vials around until at least 2014. Article 

> Profectus immunizes first patient in Ph1 HIV vax trial. Item 

Manufacturing News

> Cargo theft report puts pharma in 10th place. Story

> Pharma among NJ networks to seek info on employer skill needs. Item

> More wastewater treatment to keep drugs out of food. Report

> CMO Gallus taps Xcellerex for single-use capacity. Article 

> Skills upgrade pulls manufacturing westward. Story 

> CMOs boost R&D companies to top of efficiency ratings. News

And Finally... Does aspirin help healthy people live longer? Despite a lot of excitement about the common drug, scientists can't seem to agree. Report