Avanir raises $10.6M; McKesson hires hundreds for flu distribution center;

> Avanir Pharmaceuticals raised $10.6 million through a new stock offering. Story

> Atlanta-based Alimera Sciences has closed a $5 million extension of its Series C financing,  which was originally completed in March 2008. Release

> In a management consolidation, J&J says it will eliminate its comprehensive care business, which makes medical devices and tests. Report

> Abbott has forged a deal with Pfizer to develop a molecular diagnostic test intended to screen non-small cell lung cancer tumors for the presence of gene rearrangements. Release

> Dyax has landed a $1.5 million milestone payment from ImClone, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly, as researchers moved a leukemia drug into clinical trials. Story

Pharma News

> Venezuela's fight with Pfizer continues. Officials are once again threatening to seize one of the drugmaker's plants there, after Pfizer transferred production to another facility. And they're threatening to do so within a few days. Report

> Watch out, pharma, Waxman is coming. As chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and thus one of the House's point people on healthcare, Rep. Henry A. Waxman is vowing to take a bite out of Medicare drug prices. Report

> Another restructuring is underway at Johnson & Johnson. The company is collapsing one of its four units--the "comprehensive-care" business, which marketed diabetes, vision and heart-related products--and parceling out the pieces to the three remaining. Report

> The drug-rep bloodbath continues. This time, it's Boehringer Ingelheim laying off a hunk of its U.S. sales force, with between 600 and 900 reps getting pink slips. Report

Vaccine News

> The same HPV vaccines used to guard against cervical cancer in girls and young women could also protect men from a rare penile cancer. Report

> Backed with funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a group of researchers say they're ready to launch human trials of a new inhalable measles vaccine that can be used to guard against the disease in poor countries. Report

> Faced with alarming projections that swine flu can kill up to 90,000 Americans, U.S. government officials have given vaccine makers a green light to start preparing shipments of a new jab--their fill-and-finish stage--before they even have clinical trial data in hand. News

And Finally... Gearing up to staff a new swine flu vaccine distribution center, McKesson says it will hire hundreds of temp employees in West Sacramento, CA. McKesson calls it the largest public health initiative in the history of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Report