Acceleron sees efficacy in Phase I; Ono inks licensing deal with Tioga;

> Acceleron Pharma reported some promising preliminary results for its Phase I trial of ACE-031. The trial demonstrates that the drug is safe, well tolerated and increases lean body mass. The booming Acceleron is testing the drug as a therapy for neuromuscular diseases. Report

> Japan's Ono Pharmaceutical has licensed rights to develop and commercialize Tioga Pharmaceuticals' asimadoline in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Tioga retains all other rights to asimadoline. Tioga will receive an upfront payment and development and commercial milestone payments. Release

> Bristol-Myers has wrapped up its $2.1 billion deal to buy Medarex, which has been advancing new therapies for immune system diseases and cancer. Report

> Sweden's Meda announced that the FDA has approved Astepro (azelastine) nasal spray 0.15% for the treatment of the symptoms of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis. Release

> BioClinica has struck a deal to buy the Agfa Healthcare unit of CardioNow. The acquisition gives the clinical trial services company streamlined electronic data transmission services. Report

> Generex Biotechnology has established a subsidiary in Europe. Release

Pharma News

> Emerging markets is just one promised land for Big Pharma these days. The other one? Cancer drugs. Article

> Is Pfizer on the verge of beefing up its presence in Brazil? A Sao Paulo newspaper reports that buyout talks between the drugmaker and Brazilian generics firm Neo Quimica are about to bear fruit. Report

> For a behind-the-curtain look at Forest Laboratories' efforts to promote the antidepressant Lexapro, look no further than a marketing plan obtained by a Congressional committee. Report

> More bad news for Genzyme: Its leukemia drug Clolar probably won't get a new indication for adults anytime soon. News

> Middlebrook Pharma announced Tuesday it had cut its workforce by 100--paring its corporate staff by 20 percent and its sales force by 25 percent. Report

Manufacturing News

> Kudos to Margaret Poole, the new Genzyme senior VP and site leader at the embattled Allston Landing facility just outside Boston, for getting the plant back on line. Poole says in a Boston Globe report that "no effort will be spared to prevent another virus from contaminating the plant," and that the plant cleanup represents a remediation program that the company will use at all its biologics facilities. Report

> Airlines' management of temperature-controlled pharmaceutical shipments is increasing dramatically. Report

> Overweight pills are making the news these days. Pills become overweight when too much of the drug's API gets weighed out and put in the formulation, says Charlie Carney, a long-time GMP practitioner and consultant who is now an instructor for ISPE. Report

> China is expected to enact a new version of its good manufacturing practices to ensure the quality and safety of national medicines. Future production will need to follow the revised GMP standards, says China Financial Daily. News

> Last week's testimony concerning the creation of a public/private partnership involving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a medical countermeasures vaccine manufacturing facility is being viewed as a well-timed boost for the technology. Report

And Finally... Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Genetics found that overall there are more genetic differences within ethnic groups than between them, indicating that separate 'ethnic groups' exist in the mind more than the blood. Report