Agennix halts trial on mortality fears; Sucampo, Takeda see positive OBD data in study;

@FierceBiotech: CROs jump into 2012 with big contracting momentum. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Interesting to see that AZ will retreat to Boston and Cambridge, U.K. as it downsizes neuro R&D. Less has been more for Boston. | Follow @JohnCFierce

@FierceMedDev: Vets used Bioptigen's Envisu R2300 system in the surgical removal of a cataract a 38-year-old African elephant. Release | Follow @FierceMedDev

@MarkHFierce: Alzheimer's spreads like an infection through a distorted protein. Columbia and Harvard made the finding. Huge. More | Follow @MarkHFierce

> Germany's Agennix AG halted enrollment and treatment in a Phase II/III study of talactoferrin in severe sepsis. The monitoring board made the recommendation after seeing that the 28-day mortality in the talactoferrin arm was greater than in the placebo arm. Agennix release

> Sucampo ($SCMP) and Takeda say they garnered positive data from the second late-stage study of the opioid-induced bowel dysfunction drug lubiprostone. The drug arm performed significantly better at spontaneous bowel movements versus the placebo group. Story

> Auxogyn, a Menlo Park, CA-based company advancing new technology for women's health, says it closed on the final tranche of its $20 million Series A from Kleiner Perkins, TPG Biotech, and Merck Serono Ventures. Auxogyn release

> Tranzyme Pharma ($TZYM) has garnered $9 million in debt financing. Story

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Merck joins the select Big Pharma group that's reporting higher earnings and sales for Q4 and 2011--PR. Release | Follow @FiercePharma

> GSK resolves 20K more Avandia lawsuits, lawyer says. Item

> Merck's diabetes drugs offset Remicade sales decline. Report

> NICE rejects J&J's Zytiga as too expensive. Story

> AstraZeneca puts 7,300 jobs on the chopping block. News

Manufacturing News

> Roche plant spared from sale runs into GMP issues. More

> Pakistan drug manufacturers make plea for oversight. Story

> Amylin's OH plant prepped for Bydureon's U.S. debut. Article

Vaccines News

> Universal flu vaccine might be step closer. Story

> Study: Gardasil does not cause autoimmune disease. Article

> First hookworm vaccine enters clinical trials. More

> Ovarian cancer vaccine clinical trial begins enrollment. Item

> Evolving bacteria evade vaccines. Story

CRO News

> Lonza trouble may trigger big writedown at Ipsen. Article

> Pew pushes for better FDA oversight of global supply chain. More

> Analysts project red-hot Euro growth for CMO market. News

> Parexel plans more hires as it focuses on strategic players, biotech. Story

And Finally... New computer simulations demonstrate that a spider web's incredible durability depends not only on silk strength, but also on how the overall web design compensates for damage. Release