Antares shares soar on device approval; Sharklet bites off $1.5M in venture funds;

> Shares of Antares Pharma soared 74 percent this morning after Teva announced that the FDA had approved Antares' needle-free device for use administering Teva's human growth hormone. Release

> Sharklet Technologies, a little biotech company with some big ideas on how a new surface technology can defeat waves of bacterial infections in hospitals and other settings, has raised $1.5 million in its Series A.  Inspired by the shark, a slow-moving marine animal which isn't fouled by microorganisms, Sharklet has developed new surfaces that naturally repel bacterial invaders--including Staph a., Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E. coli--before they form durable biofilms that are easily spread by fleeting human contact. And Sharklet is claiming some significant results from the initial studies on the effectiveness of their clean approach. Limestone Ventures led the round. Release

> A clinical trial of a new rheumatoid arthritis drug being developed by AB Sciences demonstrated positive results in a study involving 43 people. Masitinib reduced joint inflammation with mild to moderate side effects. Story

> Rexahn Pharmaceuticals has signed a licensing deal with a "Top 20" pharma company for the development of the cancer therapy RX-3117. No details were announced. As we reported earlier this month, Rexahn has been actively seeking partners for its programs. Release

> Fast-growing Dendreon is planning to double the amount of space it has in downtown Seattle following regulatory approval of its prostate cancer drug Provenge. Report

> Celera has licensed five targets used in tumor identification and detection to Bayer Schering. Story

> Gyros, which markets automated micro-immunoassays for therapeutic protein development, has raised approximately euro 7.5 million in an equity fundraising led by SLS Invest, the company's leading shareholder. Release

Biotech IT News

> An unnamed pharmaceutical company has found that a panel of scientists and doctors using Crowdcast software predicted regulatory decisions and new drug sales more accurately than the company did 86 percent of the time. The Internet-based software intends to take the so-called wisdom of crowds and apply it to business decision-making. Report

> Two product launches target the common need of researchers working in both drug discovery and development for tools that aid in managing vast quantities of data. Report

> Both Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader with LiveCycle Reader Extensions ES have again passed muster with the SAFE BioPharma digital identity and signature standard. The products were initially certified two years ago and recertified in 2008, along with Adobe LiveCycle Digital Signatures ES, which remains compliant. Report

> The technology behind Compugen's recent announcement of positive therapeutic effects of a novel peptide in an animal study of inflammatory bowel disease is the company's Disease-Associated Conformation (DAC) blockers discovery platform. The peptide-its CGEN-25007, an antagonist of the gp96 protein that triggers both the immune system-was discovered using the platform. Report

Pharma News

> GlaxoSmithKline contends that cutting prices in the Asia-Pacific--coupled with increased prosperity there--could end up doubling the company's sales in the region within five years. Report

> Roche no longer wants to associate with the rest of Big Pharma. The Swiss company is pulling out of the U.S. pharmaceuticals association, PhRMA, and is resigning from PhRMA's opposite number in the U.K., the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. Report

> Aurobindo Pharma is suing South Africa over an AIDS drug supply contract, saying that its bid was superior to those the government accepted. Report

> Novartis may be the deal medicine Elan has been waiting for. According to media reports over the weekend, the Swiss drugmaker is in talks to buy a big hunk of the Irish company, namely its share of the multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri and its up-and-coming Alzheimer's drug candidates. Report

> The rumors came true: European studies released over the weekend suggest a link between cancer and Sanofi-Aventis' diabetes treatment Lantus. Word of a possible safety problem with Lantus leaked out last week, spurring some stock analysts to downgrade the company and investors to sell off their Sanofi stock. Report

And Finally... India's Biocon has struck a deal with Wyeth to develop and market biosimilars. This is just the latest in a string of similar biosimilar pacts for Biocon. Report