Biogen starts PhIII dexpramipexole enrollment; Biotech stocks surge after Cephalon bid;

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 @FierceBiotech: Valeant vows to restructure Cephalon as it moves in for the kill. Report | Follow @FierceBiotech 

 @JohnCFierce: Andrew Polllack on the ups and downs of developing radiation exposure drugs for the government. Report | Follow @JohnCFierce 

> Biogen Idec and its parter Knopp Biosciences have started enrollment in a Phase III study of dexpramipexole, an ALS treatment. The trial will study approximately 804 patients for 12 months, with half taking 150 mg of dexpramipexole twice daily and half receiving placebo treatment. Biogen release

> With Valeant's recent Cephalon bid, biotech companies as a whole are seeing a surge in stock valuations. Story

> Acadia Pharmaceuticals and Allergan have extended their drug discovery and development deal that started in March 2003. It will continue until March 2012. Acadia release

> German biotech Graffinity Pharmaceuticals signed a research deal with Shionogi Pharma for the company's technology and follow-up chemistry work on various small molecule drugs. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed. Graffinity release

> Boehringer Ingelheim's protease inhibitor BI 201335 showed a sustained viral response in a Phase II study with previously treated and untreated hepatitis C patients. Boehringer release

> Motley Fool's Brian Orelli compares Seattle Genetics and ImmunoGen, looking at which biotech could be a better purchase thanks to their antibody-drug conjugates. While both companies have strong partnerships, Seattle Genetics leads with its more robust pipeline and higher valuation. Orelli points out it couldn't hurt to purchase both. Report

> According to interim Phase IIb trial results, Medivir and Tibotec's hepatitis C drug TMC435 has led to higher virologic response rates in patients whose standard of care treatment previously failed. The results were achieved without statistically significant safety issues compared to placebo. Medivir release

> bioVIGIL named Jason R. Howe its new President, CEO and Director, replacing Brian Sheahan, who will serve as the Vice President of Clinical Affairs. BioVIGIL focuses on biosurveillance and the importance of hand hygiene in healthcare settings. bioVIGIL release

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: J&J splits off troubled consumer-drug unit. Article | Follow @FiercePharma

> Religious groups target rising drug prices. Story

> Fund sues Cephalon as Valeant hints at higher bid. Item

> Lilly service program aimed at raising 'cultural IQ.' Report

And Finally... In a new study by Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital, researchers believe they have found a new therapy for alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive childhood muscular cancer. Using NVR-AEW541, an Igf1r inhibitor, and Lapatinib, a Her2 inhibitor, scientists were able to stop tumor growth in more mice than with either drug alone. Release