Big Actelion backer sheds shares ahead of vote; Immune Design recruits ex-Elan exec as CEO;

 @FierceBiotech: VCs, Big Pharma join forces to tackle market challenges. News  | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: FDA team applauds telaprevir's efficacy, raises safety concerns. Report | Follow @JohnCFierce

> Just as Actelion's embattled management needs all the help it can get to repel a rebel slate of board members, one of its biggest supporters is shedding some of its badly-needed shares. BB Biotech held 3.5 percent of the company at the end of March, down from the 3.8 percent it held at the end of last year and the 4.3 percent it owned at the end of the third quarter, 2010. BB Biotech, though, tells the Wall Street Journal it is not voting with its feet. Actelion's nemesis, Elliott Advisors, says it's gaining momentum. "The sell down by BB Biotech in Actelion to 3.5% is lending support to our case and we remain confident that we can prevail at the upcoming annual shareholder meeting," said a spokesman for Elliott Advisors. Report

> Vaccine developer Immune Design has recruited ex-Elan president Carlos Paya, as its new CEO. Story

> Provectus Pharmaceuticals has won orphan drug status for its cancer drug PV-10. Report

> Sagent announced the closing of its 5.75 million-share IPO. Report

> Aegerion Pharmaceuticals announced the appointment of Mark J. Fitzpatrick as its Chief Financial Officer. Aegerion release

> Alzheimer's and biomarkers are again in the news with an item coming out of the University of Kentucky, whose researchers are working on a potential diagnostic test for Alzheimer's based on biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid. Report

> King Saud University in Saudi Arabia is shining the spotlight on its Biomarkers Research Program (BRP) in an article on the university's homepage. Story

> Telomeres tell the tale of stress relief in cancer patients. Article

> tells us about the search for biomarkers that might give an accurate prognosis for infants who have been affected by perinatal asphyxia, a leading cause of brain injury in newborns. News

Pharma News

> Teva puts troubled Irvine plant back to work. News

> GSK sales down, but optimism prevails. Article

> Merck to spend another $5B on stock buybacks. Report

> Supreme Court skeptical of VT data law. News

Drug Delivery News

> DNAsomes harness double-helix power to deliver drugs. News 

> Drug-delivery mechanisms give culinary industry food for thought. Story

> Protocells blow away liposomes in drug-delivery showdown. Report 

> Nanobarrels dispense nanodisks for flexible drug delivery. Item

> MonoSol Rx, KemPharm partner on abuse-resistant ADHD drug. Report 

Medical Devices News

> FDA clears Biomet hip system. Story 

>  Acacia unit, Cordis resolve litigation. Report 

> Tibion, Im-Able, look to help stroke patients. News 

> J&J to buy Synthes for $21.3B. Article 

> Becton Dickinson sees strong Q2 results, beats expectations. News 

And Finally...The World Health Organization is raising an alarm over epidemic levels of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Report