Wyeth lays off 190; GSK tries to silence Avandia critic;

> Cephalon is raising prices rapidly in an attempt to increase profits and in a complex plan to shift patients to its newer drug in the future; its medication, Provigil, costs nearly 75 percent more than it did four years ago. Report

> A federal appeals court upheld a law prohibiting the use of prescription data that identifies patients or prescribers from use for marketing purposes in New Hampshire, despite big pharma trying to fight the law by citing First Amendment rights to track prescription records. Report  

> The Archives of Internal Medicine is questioning whether all of the expensive medications used to treat individuals with type 2 diabetes will actually improve outcomes. Report

> Wyeth will be cutting 190 positions at manufacturing plants in Pearl River, New York (70 workers) and Rouses Point, New York (118 workers). Report

> GlaxoSmithKline allegedly tried to prevent an esteemed Duke University researcher from talking publicly about concerns that the diabetes drug Avandia increased cardiovascular risk. Report

> The pharmaceutical industry might be headed for a shopping spree, as more and more small biotech firms struggle in the financial crisis. Report

> This Friday, the Federal Trade Commission will hold a roundtable concerning biologics to discuss the price and market share effects of entry, competitive effects of reference product regulatory exclusivity, biotechnology patent issues, the competitive potential of follow-on biologic regulatory incentives and the process for patent resolution. Report

> StemCells has also received $20 million in equity financing. Release

> The Nevada Attorney General is suing Wyeth and Pfizer for deceptive trade practices when selling hormone therapy medications, saying the companies were misleading about the safety profiles of Pfizer's Provera and Wyeth's Premarin, Prempro and Premphase. Report

> The government today will reveal a new medication deal that defers planned price cuts and introduces measures to increase generics prescriptions. Report

> While the FDA said it agrees with AstraZeneca's concerns about approval of generic versions of its pulmonary medication, Pulmicort Respules, the FDA did grant approval for one such medication. Report

> A team of scientists led by James Collins, a professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University, has followed a trail of genetic clues to determine exactly how antibiotics kill bacteria. Report

> The University of Michigan is preparing to start a search for four top stem cell scientists. And that's just the beginning as the university heralds the passage of a new state law taking the wraps off of embryonic stem cell research. Report

> ATS Beteiligungsverwaltung has led an $82 million (€65 million) round for Germany's Ganymed Pharmaceuticals. Future Capital joined the round with private investors as Ganymed prepares to enter the clinic with its lead program. Release l Report

> An FDA advisory committee is reviewing three new antibiotics this week, and investors are working overtime trying to figure out who will win or lose. Report

> Shares of New York-based XTL Biopharmaceuticals were almost completely wiped out overnight after the developer announced that a mid-stage trial of its lead therapy failed to hit its primary endpoint. Report

> Merck has demonstrated once again that what works in mice is no sure bet for what works in humans. Report

> Chiral Quest Corporation raised $13 million in a Series B round led by a group of China-based investors. Report

> Israel's Sol Gel Technologies today announced the successful completion of an investment round of $9 million. Release

And Finally... Johnson & Johnson has ended its enormous global sponsorship arrangement with the International Olympics Committee. The company contributed between $60 million and $80 million from 2005 to 2008, and a renewal was expected to bring the Committee about $100 million over the next four years. Report

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