Aspyrian raises $8.5M for cancer therapy; Insys gets orphan status; BioCryst gains FDA fast track;

@FierceBiotech: The Special K connection: Naurex spotlights another promising NMDA depression drug. Report | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: I see R&D costs climbed to $7.1B at $PFE last year. Probably same again in '15. Citing Phase III costs. Release | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: Per earnings statement, $NVS finally submitted the COPD combo QVA149 + NVA237 to the FDA late last year. Release | Follow @DamianFierce

> Aspyrian Therapeutics, a San Diego-based startup developing a photoimmunotherapy-linked antibody drug conjugate for cancer, has raised $8.5 million, according to a filing with the SEC. Filing

> The FDA has granted Insys Therapeutics ($INSY) an orphan drug designation for its Liposomal Encapsulated Paclitaxel candidate for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Release

> BioCryst Pharmaceuticals has won fast track status for a new therapy for hereditary angioedema. Release

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: Sequenom strikes a deal with Cypher Genomics to develop advanced noninvasive prenatal test. FierceDiagnostics story | Follow @FierceMedDev

@EmilyWFierce: IYCMI yesterday: Medtronic and Covidien to close $43B merger today with Irish High Court approval. Article | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Medtronic sets sights on hospital and product innovation post-Covidien deal close. News

> Hoffman pleads guilty to murdering former Boston Sci exec in Minneapolis suburb. Report

> J&J launches new, smaller, more precise vascular stapler for thoracic surgery. Article

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Supreme Court pitches patent fight over $SHPG's Lialda after $TEVA ruling. Report | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: ICYMI from FiercePharmaManufacturing: Actavis explains the recall of generic Neurontin was limited to 2,000 bottles shipped to one customer. Story | Follow @EricPFierce

> With generic losses on the horizon, Pfizer puts up a stormy 2015 forecast. Report

> U.S., India make incremental IP headway during Obama visit. Story

> Pharmaceuticals and biotech a backdrop to China-Taiwan economic talks. Article

Biotech Research News

> UCSD team turns the PKC tumor theory upside down. Item

> Psoriasis researchers identify a lineup of suspect proteins behind disease progression. More

> International team tags a key brain pathway for hypoglycemia. Report

> Stanford scientists use modified RNA to rejuvenate aging cells. Story

> Alzheimer's investigators at Gladstone find a drug target for guarding memories. Article

Pharma Manufacturing News

> BASF invests $63M in PVP manufacturing operations. More

> Novo will soon open plant in Russia. Article

> Hospira recalls more saline after human hair found in a bag. Report

> FDA slaps down another Indian plant, adding to the industry's woes. Story

> Australia's TGA issues updated guidelines on drug supply chain releases. Item