Alkermes dumps constipation drug, pushes ahead on depression; BioMarin prices $249M offering;

@FierceBiotech: NIH group to award up to $20B in IT contracts. News | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Lilly still building its data on Livalo (statin) compared to Pravachol. Are they making any sales yet? Tough biz: Release | Follow @JohnCFierce

@RyanMFierce: After Stiefel/GSK deal, Canadian biotech Welichem's shares slide 18.75%, or CAD 9 cents. More | Follow @RyanMFierce

> Alkermes ($ALKS) is axing a program for a new drug designed to treat constipation resulting from opioid pain meds. The drug failed to produce the kind of data Alkermes needed to justify a late-stage study. Alkermes is continuing work, though, on ALKS 5461 after the combo therapy produced positive results in a study for major depression. A mid-stage study was started last January and reads out next year. Story

> Shares of BioMarin ($BMRN) slid 7% this morning after the biotech announced plans to sell $249 million in shares. The Novato, CA-based company, which has a track record of buying out small rare disease outfits, plans to use much of the money for research. Release

> Worcester, MA-based RXi Pharmaceuticals received FDA clearance to initiate clinical trials with RXI-109, a "self-delivering RNAi compound that selectively targets Connective Tissue Growth Factor." Release

> Imperial College professor David Nutt is continuing his high profile campaign to get British officials to loosen the reins on studies of illicit drugs, including psilocybin. Nutt told reporters that "we lose sight of the fact that these drugs may well give us insights into areas of science which need to be explored and they also may give us new opportunities for treatment." Story

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Icahn's back after Forest Labs, plans to nominate board candidates, including crony Eric Ende--BW. News | Follow @FiercePharma

> Reuters: Glaxo aims to replace entire HGS board. News

> CVS takes aim at co-pay cards by blocking drug coverage. Story

> Icahn plans another foray against Forest Labs. Article

Medical Devices News

@FierceMedDev: An ex-Spectranetics CEO gets a year's probation for lying to the feds. Story | Follow @FierceMedDev

@MarkHFierce: Could the VA's plan to streamline spending on prosthetics hurt device companies? Article | Follow @MarkHFierce

> Affymetrix, Leica to launch automated Dx/Rx research tool. More

> VA looks to streamline prosthetic spending. Story

CRO News

 @NesaNFierce: Frazier Healthcare will buy Catalent's Philly and Woodstock, IL, commercial packaging ops, but both parties are mum on the deal's cost. More | Follow @NesaNFierce

> Creditors file $80M bid for financially strapped Cetero. Article

> New CRO Agility Clinical to focus on pediatric and orphan diseases. Story

> CMO revenue expected to double in Europe in 6 years. Item

> Covance, Bayer Healthcare enter strategic R&D partnership. News

Pharma Manufacturing News

> Another Indian drugmaker expanding in Nigeria. Item

> Fake Adderall surfaces as Congress turns attention to track and trace. More

> China's Biostar says it has replaced 5M tainted capsules. News

> FDA spanks J&J McNeil plant over complaint failures. Article

Vaccines News

> Bionor's new HIV vaccine moves into clinical trials. News

> Oral TB vax could cut treatment time. More

> Making safer and better shots. Story

> Merck's RotaTeq will be saving lives in Rwanda. Item

And Finally… Investigators say that elderly people have their own special smell. And contrary to what you may be thinking, the unique odor is not nearly as unpleasant as the smells of youth and middle age. Release