ZymoGenetics says it bests King in Recothrom dispute; Glaxo inks $173M deal for Intercell's vax patch

> Shares of Intercell were fired up by news that GlaxoSmithKline is backing the company with a sizeable upfront and a hefty equity payment as it takes a stake in the Austrian biotech's needle-free vaccine patch technology. Article

> ZymoGenetics is claiming a victory over rival King Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a Tennessee court fight. King alleges that the Seattle biotech has engaged in unfair competition, false advertising, trademark infringement and other claims involving ZymoGenetics' Recothrom product.  Report

> Mylan Pharmaceuticals has received final FDA approval for its ANDA for levetiracetam tablets, 1000 mg, a generic version of UCB Pharma's antiepileptic Keppra. Release

> A unit of global drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline temporarily halted operations in India's Andhra Pradesh state on Friday as the fallout from a government plan to carve up the southern state mounted. Story

> Lannett Company has received approvals from the FDA for its generic versions of Purdue Pharmaceuticals' Dilaudid (hydromorphone HCl) tablets in 2-, 4- and 8-mg strengths. Release

> Colorado Springs-based Provident Pharmaceuticals LLC has received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration alleging significant violations of federal regulations on drug manufacturing as well as sales of unapproved drugs. Report

> Low cost osteoporosis drugs are strictly rationed for those under 75, and U.K. physicians hampered by restrictive guidelines, according to findings which appear today in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease, published by SAGE. Story

> Sandoz has launched its version of a topical drug used to treat psoriasis of the scalp, the Swiss generic drug maker announced Thursday. Story

Biotech News

> Roche has shed yet another development partnership deal. This time its subsidiary Genentech dropped a collaboration with Seattle Genetics on the cancer drug dacetuzumab--or SGN-40. Seattle Genetics says the decision was the result of a product review at Genentech, which now operates under the wing of Roche. Report

> A late-stage study of Roche's rheumatoid arthritis drug ocrelizumab has hit its primary endpoint in a group of hard-to-treat patients. The drug combined with methotrexate, the standard therapy for RA, significantly improved the signs and symptoms of the disease at 24 and 28 weeks. But researchers also flagged a higher rate of serious infections among the drug combo crowd, noting that a safety analysis is ongoing. Report

> It's taken Gilead Sciences longer than it expected, but the developer has just taken a giant step toward FDA approval of its experimental cystic fibrosis drug. An expert FDA advisory panel yesterday turned in a 15 to 2 vote in favor of the aztreonam's safety and efficacy and unanimously backed a 75-milligram dose taken three times a day. Report

> Dendreon may not have an approval yet for its prostate cancer therapy, but it's acting a lot like it's a done deal. In the last two days, Dendreon has raised $356 million from a stock sale and hired Bayer HealthCare veteran Hans Bishop as its COO. Bishop will be in charge of manufacturing. Report

> With new competition breathing down its neck and bad press blackening its eye, Genzyme is pulling out all the stops to calm rattled investors. On Thursday, with its stock scraping lows not seen since 2004, the company sent out a letter to shareholders promising that it is getting back on track. And Genzyme has been recruiting some industry stars to head up key areas. Report

And Finally... Japan's aggressiveness against H1N1 influenza, the result of hygiene standards, social etiquette and a willingness to test and medicate immediately, means the country has fared better than the U.S. or the U.K. in battling the first pandemic in 41 years. A World Health Organization report shows Japan's mortality rate is 2 deaths for every 100,000 people. The rate is higher by 11 times in the U.K., 16 times in the U.S. and 43 times in Australia. Report

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