Astellas inks new cancer pact with Cell Signaling Technology; HTG pockets $15.7M Series D;

@FierceBiotech: Billionaire biotech investor touts his next Big Thing. Story | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: In case you missed it: Pharming plans Ph3B on Rhucin, anticipating the FDA will ask for more data. That's proactive. News | Follow @JohnCFierce 

> Shares of Salix slipped 21 percent this morning after the FDA alerted the biotech that it won't approve Xifaxan for a new use. "Salix got sucker punched by the FDA," says analyst Corey Davis. Report

> In a new pact, Cell Signaling Technology and Astellas have pooled their respective worldwide intellectual property estates relating to the fusion kinase, EML4-ALK, to advance new diagnostics and therapeutic products targeting the cancer enzyme. CST will have the sole rights to exploit these joint intellectual property estates in the field of human medical diagnostics worldwide. Astellas gets rights for human therapeutics worldwide. CST release

> HTG's multi-plex gene expression testing platform has attracted fresh venture backing from a slate of VC groups. New investors Novo A/S and Fletcher Spaght Ventures joined Merck Capital Ventures, Solstice Capital and Valley Ventures in providing the $15.7 million Series D. Article

> NIH chief Francis Collins spent time with reporters discussing plans for a new center designed to spur early-stage drug development work. Story

And Finally... A Nature poll of some 1,000 biomedical researchers found that 90 percent believe that the use of animals in research is essential, but 16 percent note that they have misgivings about the work. Story