ALSO NOTED: Pfizer vows to triple number of late-stage drugs; Arpida touts superbug drug data; and much more...

> In a meeting with analysts, Pfizer executives said that they would triple the number of experimental drugs in Phase III by 2009. The pharma giant also raised its earnings guidance for 2006. Report

> Switzerland's Arpida saw its shares rise after the drug developer announced that a late-stage trial of its superbug drug iclaprim proved equally effective as a rival therapy from Pfizer. "Iclaprim demonstrated a clinical cure rate which was statistically non-inferior to that of (Pfizer's) linezolid...thereby achieving the primary endpoint of the trial," Arpida announced. Release

> Novo Nordisk says it plans to increase its diabetes sales force in the U.S. by 60 percent, hiring 700 new reps. The new hires will be made in the first half of 2007. Report

> House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has queued up a new bill backing expanded federal support for embryonic stem cell research. But no one's betting that backers can override a presidential veto, which would almost certainly greet any new provision in Congress. Report

> Thailand says it expects to see 100 new biotech companies operating by 2009. Report

And Finally... The National Kidney Foundation says it will investigate whether kidney patients are receiving dangerous overdoses of anemia drugs. Article

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