ALSO NOTED: Glaxo wins approval for Hycamtin; Affymax forecasts share price;The best (and worst) biotech stocks of 2006; and mu

> President Bush has signed a new law that expands the powers of federal authorities targeting the activities of animal rights groups. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline has won EMEA approval to market Hycamtin, a combinatorial therapy for cervical cancer. Report

> Affymax has …

Press Release: RU-486 compound prevents breast tumor growth

Press Release: RU-486 compound prevents breast tumor growth

Press Release: PerkinElmer to Acquire Evotec Technologies

Press Release: PerkinElmer to Acquire Evotec Technologies

Press Release: The Scripps Research Institute enters five-year $100M collaboration with Pfizer

Press Release: The Scripps Research Institute enters five-year $100M collaboration with Pfizer

Press Release: Pfizer Presents Robust and Diversified Product Pipeline Across 11 Therapeutic Areas

Press Release: Pfizer Presents Robust and Diversified Product Pipeline Across 11 Therapeutic Areas

Durect soars on $202M pact and new trial data

Shares of Durect soared more than 50 percent in overnight trading after the drug developer announced a $202 million pact to develop a new post-operative pain medication with Denmark's Nycomed. The two will develop Posidur using Durect's delivery system. Durect gains $14 million up front and up to $188 million in milestone payments. Posidur is expected to begin a Phase III trial next year. Durect's stock was further helped this morning when the company announced that its Phase I trial for …

FDA panel backs Celebrex for children

An advisory panel at the FDA has urged the agency to approve Celebrex to treat arthritis in children as young as two. But to make sure that the children are not being exposed to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, the advisers want Pfizer to track the children taking the medication for decades to come. Eight of the 15 members on the panel agreed that Celebrex can be toxic. That conclusion led them to recommend that Pfizer create a patient registry that could track blood pressure, …

FDA approves surging number of NDAs

The FDA approved 15 NDAs in October, the biggest month of the year for the agency. In the UPI story, analysts say that year-to-date approvals put this year in line with 2004, the best year for regulatory approvals in the Bush administration. Analysts are sounding worried, though, that a new Democratic majority will push through regulations that slow FDA actions. But where's the research and analysis on the number of new NDAs that are directed at the FDA? The regulators aren't …

Concert Pharmaceuticals gathers $48M in new round

Upstart biotech Concert Pharmaceuticals has raised $48 million in its second round of venture capital, adding to the $10 million it raised in round one last July. Flagship Ventures led the round which included Brookside Capital Partners Fund and New Leaf Venture Partners. Three Arch partners, TVM Capital, Skyline Ventures, Greylock Partners and QVT Fund LP also participated. Concert CEO Robert Tung had been vice president of drug discovery at Vertex. The company was launched in …

Actavis to buy Abrika Pharma in $238M deal

Iceland's generic drug maker Actavis has agreed to buy Abrika Pharmaceuticals in the U.S. for up to $238.5 million. Actavis will make an initial payment of $110 million in cash and up to $125 million based on its performance over the next three years. Actavis says the deal will make it a leader in the U.S. for controlled-release drugs. The Icelandic company recently lost a bidding war with Barr for Croatia's Pliva.

- here's the …

SPOTLIGHT: Cardinal puts pharma ops on sales block

Cardinal Health says that it plans to sell its $1.8 billion pharmaceutical services arm. The group packages 100 billion doses of medicines a year for pharma and biotech companies. Cardinal Health wants to focus its business on providers like hospitals and pharmacies. Report

DEALS: Bayer sells H.C. Starck to investors for $1.57B

Bayer sells H.C. Starck to investors for $1.57B

ALSO NOTED: Pfizer vows to triple number of late-stage drugs; Arpida touts superbug drug data; and much more...

> In a meeting with analysts, Pfizer executives said that they would triple the number of experimental drugs in Phase III by 2009. The pharma giant also raised its earnings guidance for 2006. Report

> Switzerland's Arpida saw its shares rise after the drug developer announced that a late-stage trial of …

Pfizer to axe 2,200 sales jobs in realignment

Blaming an onslaught of cheap generic drugs, Pfizer has announced it is cutting its sales force by 2,200, or one in five, in the U.S. For Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler, it's all part of an ongoing realignment aimed at making the giant pharma company more agile. But it also reflects Pfizer's inability to deliver a group of new blockbusters as well as the …

Kalypsys reaps $100 million in third round

Kalypsys has raised $100 million in its third round of venture capital. Tavistock Life Sciences, one of Kalypsys' previous investors, led the round with an $89 million contribution. Previous investors Sprout Group, CMEA Ventures and KT Venture Group participated in the round. The financing increases the total private equity that Kalypsys has raised to $172 million since February 2002. Kalypsys' pipeline includes KD3010 for metabolic disorders. Other compounds in the pipeline nearing the …

Dynavax stock jumps on hep B data

Shares of Dynavax Technologies shot up 31 percent in after-hours trading after the developer announced that a late-stage trial of its experimental vaccine for hepatitis B showed that it performed better after two doses than three doses of GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine. Two doses of Hepislav protected 98 percent of volunteers compared to 25 percent protected by two doses of Glaxo's Engerix-B. Analysts say the data shows that Dynavax can successfully compete against Glaxo in the $1 billion …

Threshold delays release of glufosfamide analysis

Threshold Pharmaceuticals says it will delay a release on Phase III data for its pancreatic cancer drug glufosfamide until some time in 2007. Threshold also announced it will begin patient screening for two new mid-stage trials of glufosfamide by the end of this year for ovarian cancer and small cell lung cancer. The reason for the delay, according to a Threshold release, is that the trial will end on notification of the 258th death of one of the volunteers in the study. In its timeline …

Seradyn looks to expand following merger

The Indianapolis Star profiles Seradyn, a biotech company acquired in the recent Fisher Scientific/Thermo Electron merger. The life sciences company, which makes drug testing products, says it plans to expand its operations and hire new staff. President Mark Roberts says he plans to add 10 to 15 workers in the lab and raise the company's profile.

- here's the profile from the …

SPOTLIGHT: Novartis plans Phase III trial

Vectura is touting an announcement from Novartis that it will begin a late-stage trial of a new COPD therapy in 2007 that incorporates a drug Vectura developed. Novartis expects to ask for marketing approval of QVA149--a combinatorial therapy--in 2010. Report

C&L: Altus tapped as new ImpactRx CEO

ImpactRx has named Richard C. Altus as president and CEO.

Hemispherx Biopharma has hired Anthony A. Bonelli as president and COO.

Bioenvision has named James S. Scibetta to the post of CFO.

Adnexus Therapeutics has expanded its management team with the appointment of Bruce A. …