Ardea gets positive gout data; ZymoGenetics raises $75M; Prometheus Labs gains $260M in financing;

> San Diego-based Ardea Biosciences, has announced additional positive results from a recently completed Phase IIa study of RDEA594, its lead product candidate for the treatment of hyperuricemia and gout. Ardea release

> ZymoGenetics says it raised $79 million in a stock offering. The developer sold 14 million shares at $6 apiece. Report

> Prometheus Laboratories has gained $260 million in financing, inking a deal for a $210 million term loan and a $50 million revolving credit line. The money will be used to finance therapeutic and diagnostic product acquisitions and refinance existing indebtedness. Prometheus release

> Guangzhou-based China Medicine Corp. has struck a $69.6 million financing deal with One Equity Partners, the private equity arm of JPMorgan. Release

> Interleukin Genetics has signaled plans to sell $75 million in new securities. Story

> ProFibrix announced that SenterNovem, an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, has granted the company a loan under its new Innovation Credit scheme of potentially up to EUR 5 million to finance the further clinical development of its unique new hemostat Fibrocaps. ProFibrix release

Pharma News

> AstraZeneca has prevailed in its long fencing bout with would-be generic challenger Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. The Israeli generics giant agreed to concede that AstraZeneca's Nexium patents are valid and enforceable in return for a license to sell the drug in the U.S. beginning May 27, 2014. Story

> For those of you looking for signs--any signs--of just where Merck's post-merger jobs axe might fall, check out the Wall Street Journal Health Blog's coverage of CEO Dick Clark (photo). And if you're thinking sales, you're right. Report

> Within the next several weeks, Pfizer expects to cut 400 jobs from Monmouth Junction, N.J., where Wyeth maintained research offices. In addition, Merck plans to eliminate 500 jobs from Kenilworth, where Schering-Plough had its headquarters. Story

> The FDA is once again wading into the safety data on Amgen's anemia drugs. An advisory committee will convene later this year to evaluate whether lower doses would help avoid increased cardiovascular risks for kidney patients, the agency announced in a New England Journal of Medicine commentary. Report

> One small step for Pfizer, another leap farther into generics for Big Pharma. The drugmaker has agreed to source 40 generic treatments--including a bundle of cancer meds--from the Indian firm Strides Arcolab, for sale in the United States. The drugs will be marketed by Pfizer's relatively new Established Products unit, which sells some 600 off-patent products. Story

Vaccines News

> Austrian scientists are touting research involving insect cell-based technology to create recombinant influenza virus-like particles (VLPs)--a discovery that could lead to faster production times for H1N1 vaccines. It took the team just 10 weeks to produce swine-origin pandemic H1N1 influenza VLPs for immunological study in mice, according to research published recently in the Biotechnology Journal. Report

> Researchers at King's College London are planning a small trial that will test the first vaccine for leukemia. Subjects with acute myeloid leukemia (AML)--the most common form of the disease in adults--will be given a vaccine made from their own cells. Report

> With governments around the world getting stuck with unused supplies of swine flu vaccine, it was almost a sure bet that at some point Big Pharma would be attacked for orchestrating a global panic attack in order to sell billions of dollars worth of vaccine. Story

And Finally... Glaxo goes to Hollywood. The company is producing a "hard-hitting" documentary to educate folks about obesity--and increase awareness of its weight-loss drug Alli, the New York Times reports. An as-yet unknown Academy Award-winning director will handle the project, and his or her identity will be revealed January 25 at the Sundance Film Festival. Report

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