ALSO NOTED: Merck scientist defends Vioxx; Taro wins FDA OK; Advanced Magnetics revises Phase III; and much more...

> Dr. Alise Reicin, VP of clinical trials for Merck, insisted in the first court case involving Vioxx that the drug had been tested in 10,000 people before being submitted for approval and was never linked to elevated cardiovascular risks. Dr. Reicin also insisted that one trial that did show a heightened risk when compared to naproxen was do to the heart-protecting qualities of naproxen and not any added risk from Vioxx -- a point that has been rigorously disputed by a number of experts. Report

> The FDA has approved Taro Pharmaceuticals' ANDA for Ciclopirox Topical Suspension USP, 0.77%. Release

> The FDA has approved Gen-Probe's Aptima Combo 2 test to detect chlamydia and gonorrhea. The two conditions are the most common bacterial sexually transmitted diseases in the US. Gen-Probe says the approval will make testing easier and less expensive. Story

> Advanced Magnetics has revised its Phase III program for ferumoxytol in IV iron replacement therapy. Release

> The FDA has cleared Halozyme Therapeutics' Chemophase Investigational New Drug application. Release

> Dyax has announced a new cancer lead. Release

And Finally… The New York City health department has launched a campaign to get its restaurants to take harmful trans fats off of the menu. Article