Woman awarded Wyeth damages dies; Merck KGaA asks for new Erbitux use

> Pamela Forrester, one of three Northern Nevada women who were awarded millions in damages against pharmaceutical giant Wyeth earlier this year, died Thursday. Report

> Merck KGaA asked the European Medicines Agency to broaden the use of Erbitux to cover first-line treatment of recurrent or metastatis head and neck cancers. Report

> Regulators are preparing to announce plans to allow digital prescribing of restricted medications such as the sleep drugs Ambien and Lunesta, easing a barrier to widespread adoption of the technology. Report

> Chinese officials revoked licenses for three drugmakers, including one that sent human growth hormone to the United States, and punished 125 other companies, mostly pharmacies, for making, selling or distributing performance-enhancing drugs. Report

> The Italian pharmaceutical company Recordati is aiming to reinforce its presence in Eastern Europe and Turkey; it's in talks on several deals in Turkey, a newspaper reported. Report

> In the not too distant future drug development work will be revolutionized by new computer technology that will "test" experimental therapies on virtual humans, says a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Report

> About $30 billion is spent each year on weight loss, but only $200 million of that is spent on prescription drugs. In an effort to capture some of that market, no fewer than 20 drug companies are working to find a drug to treat obesity. Report

> YM Biosciences got the green light from regulators to resume development of its acute pain therapy-AeroLEF. Report

> An experimental cancer therapy is being credited with the complete remission of skin cancer in a 52-year-old patient who had been given a year to live. Report

> Maryland is upping its ante in an ambitious bid to attract biotech companies to the state. Just days after the state took the spotlight at BIO with an announced plan to provide $1.1 billion of incentives for the industry, state officials now say they will invest up to $500 million of state pension money in the field--with Maryland-based biotechs getting the lion's share of the money. Report

And Finally ... A healthy diet and exercise may turn off genes that cause cancer, a new study shows. Report