ALSO NOTED: Kosan forges deal with Pfizer; Genta cuts staff; and much more...

> Kosan stock surged on the news that it had inked a deal with Pfizer to develop a therapy for gastrointestinal diseases. Kosan gets $12.5 million up front and up to $72.5 million in milestones. Pfizer gains worldwide rights to KOS-2187, a compound that helps spur production of a hormone that promotes movement in the gastrointestinal tract. Release

> Fast on the heels of its announcement that the FDA did not approve its cancer therapy Genasense, Genta has laid off 34 workers, or about a third of its staff. Genta is still awaiting word on its European application for Genasense as a therapy for advanced myeloma. Report

> Shares of Panacos were slashed this morning after it announced that an experimental HIV therapy, bevirimat, proved disappointing in a Phase IIb trial. Patient data indicated a lower than expected response rate. Release

> Gilead Sciences announced that its Phase III AIR-CF2 (CP-AI-005) study of aztreonam lysine for inhalation for the treatment of people with cystic fibrosis who have pulmonary Pseudomonas aeruginosa met its primary efficacy endpoint. Release

> Germany's MorphoSys says it has extended its development pact with Pfizer, bringing its total potential value to more than $100 million in research support and milestone payments. Report

> The FDA has approved Johnson & Johnson's Invega, a therapy for schizophrenia. Release

> Repros Therapeutics has announced that preliminary trial data for the testosterone therapy Androxal demonstrates that it is not inferior to Androgel, which is sold by Solvay. Release

> Medigene has acquired the European rights to the dermatology product Oracea for €400 million plus milestones. Report

> Labopharm says it has made a complete response to the FDA's request for more information on the once-daily painkiller tramadol. Report

> Wyeth and Progenics have begun their second Phase III trial of intravenous methylnaltrexone for temporary gastrointestinal impairment. Report

> Serono and ZymoGenetics have begun a mid-stage trial Atacicept for rheumatoid arthritis. Report

> RheoGene, a gene and cell therapy company based in Norristown, PA, and Intrexon Corporation, a biotechnology company based in Blacksburg, VA, have announced plans to merge the two firms. Release

And Finally... The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $47 million for a coordiated assault on a group of diseases. Release | Article

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