ALSO NOTED: Renovis' CEO steps down; Isis gains $5M milestone; and much more...

> Chutes & Ladders: Corey Goodman is stepping down as CEO of Renovis as the company completes its planned merger with Evotec. Release

> Isis Pharmaceuticals has pocketed a $5 million milestone payment from partner Ortho-McNeil. Isis initialized a Phase 1 clinical trial of ISIS 325568, which triggered the payment. Release

> NicOx is touting the results of its collaboration with Spain's Ferrer Grupo International. In particular, the company is crowing about Phase I results for NCX 1022, a potential dermatology product. Release

> In an interview with Investor's Business Daily, Kevin Starr of VC firm Third Rock explains that a "giant void" has developed in biotechnology, with Big Pharma and VC firms looking to invest in late-stage products. Report

> Using mesenchymal stem cells taken from bone marrow, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have been able to spur the livers of rats to generate new tissue, raising the possibility that they can repair liver damage without resorting to a transplant. Report

> Counterfeit drugs and outright theft cost the pharmaceuticals industry some $71 billion a year, according to a new study from a consumer advocacy group known as America's Watchdog. Report

And Finally... A new approach to synthesizing natural compounds could significantly speed research and manufacturing processes for these therapeutics. Report