BioInvent to raise $21M; FDA won't need advisory review for Xenoport drug;

> Sweden's BioInvent plans to raise $21 million in a move that could add two years to its cash runway. The CEO tells BioWorld that the company plans to add new programs to its pipeline. Report

> Xenoport says that the FDA has informed the company that it won't need an advisory panel recommendation for its drug for restless leg syndrome. The FDA is scheduled to deliver its decision on XP13512 by February 9. Story

> RXi Pharmaceuticals and the University of Massachusetts Medical School will collaborate on RNAi compounds for ocular diseases, including age-related macular degeneration. Story

> Microbix Biosystems has inked a partnership agreement to manufacture and market water-based products to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other industries. Microbix release

Pharma News

> As it turns out, Pfizer is also part of that European Commission antitrust probe. The company says the E.C. has asked for info related to the investigation, which is focusing on patent-dispute settlements between branded drugmakers and generics companies. Article

> As if Novartis didn't have enough problems with its Alcon buyout, now there's word that the deal could carry a tax burden. Apparently Alcon's U.S. shareholders might have to pay taxes on a swap of their shares for Novartis stock. If so, that would be another strike against Novartis' buyout of minority shareholders. Report

> Pharma may lose another $10B to healthcare reform. Article

> Good news for Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim's Spiriva product. The FDA finished up a safety review of the COPD treatment, finding no increased risk of stroke or heart problems. Spiriva report

And Finally... Scientists are studying the genetic triggers for leopard's spots and tiger's stripes in hopes of finding new therapies for skin conditions. Release