Worker alerted feds to N.C. plant worries; Ranbaxy facility gets Euro, Aussie nods;

> An employee told FDA about troubling conditions in a North Carolina syringe manufacturing plant months before deadly bacteria-tainted devices were shipped to patients, but the agency did not immediately investigate, newly released documents show. Report

> European and Australian authorities issued Good Manufacturing Practice certifications for Ranbaxy Laboratories' troubled manufacturing site at Paonta Sahib, but the facility remains under FDA scrutiny. Report

> Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has once again extended its offer to acquire Taro Pharmaceutical, this time till April 3; it's the ninth extension of the tender bid. Release l Report

> China's State Food and Drug Administration said Saturday it found no evidence that Johnson & Johnson baby products made in that country contain potential carcinogens as alleged by an activist group. Report

> Abbott Laboratories recently announced that its first nutritional products factory in China has been put into operation in the Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone. Report

> Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada has relocated the 200 employees from its head office to Technoparc Montreal. Report

> A $6 million biotech tax credit could be cut as Maryland legislators attempt to reduce the state's budget, much to MdBio's displeasure. Report

> WSJ sources say Stiefel Laboratories'--owned and operated by the Stiefel family for more than 160 years--is in talks with several Big Pharmas, including Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline. Report

> Following an announcement earlier this week that the company received a going-concern warning, Poniard Pharmaceuticals said today that it will concentrate its cash resources on the clinical and commercial development of its late-stage oncology candidate, picoplatin. Report

> An expert FDA panel has voted 15-to-2 in favor of short-term use of Xarelto (rivaroxaban), which is being developed by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. Report

> A European Medicines Agency advisory committee has recommended against the approval of the Gilead Sciences' cystic fibrosis treatment candidate aztreonam lysine. Report

Interphex Keynote: For the last week Steven Burrill has been on a mission. Talking to various media outlets, the noted venture capitalist has been sharing his view of what the future holds for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. As the keynote speaker of Interphex 2009, he took the opportunity to explain what led to this fundamental shift in the biopharma industry, how it will shape our future and what companies need to do to survive the coming change. Article

And Finally... Think the no-freebie rule has set pharma back? Try running the company that made those drug-logo pens. Report