Biopure files for bankruptcy; J&J to combine Gilead therapy with experimental AIDS drug;

> After months of teetering on the brink, Biopure has filed for bankruptcy as it clears a path to selling its assets to OPK Biotech. Biopure had tried unsuccessfully to develop the synthetic blood substitute Hemopure. Report

> Gilead has found another partner for its AIDS drug Truvada. J&J's subsidiary Tibotec will combine the therapy with an experimental drug it has in the pipeline. Truvada has helped generate tremendous revenue for Gilead, largely because it is paired with other drugs. Gilead's Viread allows for lower dosing of other therapies and is taken by eight of 10 newly diagnosed patients. Truvada is a combination of Viread with Emtriva, itself a combo therapy. Release | Story

> Novartis and Alnylam have extended their gene silencing collaboration for a fifth and final year. Novartis will continue to fund research work while retaining rights and conditions on the products they develop. Release

> The FDA has approved the potent opioid pain therapy Onsolis for breakthrough cancer pain. The therapy, manufactured by Aveva Drug Delivery Systems, delivers fentanyl through a patch of film applied inside the cheek. Onsolis release | Story

> Dutch biotech Pharming has posted widening losses for the first half of the year but notes that it is making progress on the financing front. Pharming plans to refile for European marketing approval for Rhucin in September. Pharming release | Story 

Pharma

> More confirmation that Nycomed is serious about buying Solvay Pharmaceuticals: Its private equity owners are out raising the financing. Report

> FDA is embarking on a safety review of the asthma drug Xolair. At issue: interim findings from a five-year observational study, which suggest an increase in the number of heart problems and strokes in Xolair patients, the agency said. Report

> Harry and Louise are back. The actors who starred in the infamous anti-healthcare reform commercials back in the '90s have gone turncoat, signing up for a new campaign in support of a healthcare revamp. Report

And Finally... A standard calculation used in forecasting potential numbers of deaths during the swine flu pandemic risks misleading healthcare planners by being open to both over- and under-estimation of the true figures, say the authors of new research published in the British Medical Journal. Report

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