ALSO NOTED: Meda buys German drug group; SEC asks Pfizer for Cox-2 data; Alabama providing breaks for new research center; and

> Advent International has agreed to sell its German pharmaceutical group Viatris to Sweden's Meda for €750 million. Viatris has a strong focus on respiratory illnesses and pain/inflammation. Viatris has operations in 14 countries, with a special concentration on larger European markets. Report

> The SEC has asked Pfizer to provide information on its Bextra and Celebrex painkillers. The request was revealed in an SEC filing, and the company remains tight-lipped; but analysts say they weren't surprised. The SEC has a broad investigation under way on Cox-2 inhibitors. Story

> The state of Alabama is providing $50 million in tax breaks to help launch a new biotech research center in Huntsville. Story

> Lipid Sciences reported $13.8 million of cash on hand at the end of June, leaving enough money to fund operations through the first half of 2006 as it explored "strategic alternatives." Release

> The FDA has outlined actions CytRx will need to take to lift the hold on a clinical study of arimoclomol for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Release

And Finally… The White House estimates that the average monthly cost for its new drug benefit will be about $5 less than originally expected. Article

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