Acadia shares shoot up on late-stage trial plans; Transdel therapy produces mixed trial data;

> Shares of Acadia Pharmaceuticals shot up 22 percent this morning after the developer and its partner, Biovail, announced plans for a new late-stage trial of the psychosis drug pimavanserin. Researchers plan to use the data from the first, failed late-stage trial and combine it with the results of an ongoing trial to determine the best trial design for the therapy. Report

> Transdel Pharmaceuticals says that its topical pain therapy produced mixed results in a late-stage clinical trial, but proved effective in a subgroup of patients. The company's CEO says the biotech will pursue talks with the FDA before it decides how to proceed. Story

> Exton, PA-based Isolagen has reorganized and emerged from bankruptcy as Fibrocell Science, a biotech focused on developing regenerative fibroblast cells. Release

> Regulators at the FDA have put OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals' experimental prostate cancer drug on its fast track. Story

Pharma News

> European Commission antitrust watchdogs warned last week that their drug-industry probing was far from over. Today, they proved themselves right. Regulators raided a variety of as-yet-unspecified pharma companies today, leaving the industry wondering what's going on. Report

> As the Senate Finance Committee prepares to vote on its latest version of healthcare reform, pharma can breathe a sigh of relief. It's among the few industry winners in this reform incarnation, having beat back a multitude of attempts to cut more costs than the $80 billion already promised early this year. Report

> What can we expect from Obama's FDA? Article

> Schering-Plough's liver drug Pegintron squeaked past an FDA advisory committee yesterday, narrowly winning a recommendation for a new indication for patients with advanced melanoma. Report

> The highest court in Europe sided with pharma today, ruling that regulators should reconsider their stand for discount drug traders. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is still toting up orders for its H1N1 vaccine. Since the company last updated its vaccine contract numbers in early August, it has garnered orders for an additional 149 million doses. That makes its total take on the swine flu vaccine as much as $3.5 billion, Reuters reports. Report

Research News

> Researchers at the University of South Florida say that lab experiments have shown that a cheap, commonly used antibiotic could revolutionize stroke treatment. Report

> Using select antibodies to "super charge" the human immune system has proven an effective treatment of a virulent form of childhood cancer in lab tests, says a group of British scientists. Item

> Promising thousands of new jobs, President Obama announced last week $5 billion in biomedical funding. The funds are being doled out under the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. More than 12,000 grants will be handed out over the next two years. Article

And Finally... The New York Times profiles Francis Collins, the new head of the National Institutes of Health, in today's issue. The first half of the article is devoted largely to Collins' controversial religious notions--he's attempting to meld his passionate belief in God with a rigorous adherence to the scientific process--and personal style. But the scientific community will be more focused on his discussion about the NIH budget and the need for researchers to think about commercializing their work. Report