BMS, Asterand extend collaboration; Biotec Pharmacon reports disappointing Phase III results;

> Bristol-Myers Squibb has extended its research collaboration with Asterand by three years. Asterand provide drug discovery services and human tissue and clinical samples to the company. Report

> Millipore has acquired the remaining 60 percent of Millipore India for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is part of Millipore's effort to boost its presence in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Singapore, it said. Article

> Biotec Pharmacon received disappointing results from its Phase III studies of SBG for diabetic foot ulcer. The studies failed to show superiority of SBG vs. placebo in terms of ulcer healing, and the company will thus not proceed with the further activities planned for this indication. Biotec release

> Gilead Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline  today announced a licensing agreement to commercialize Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection in adults in five countries in Asia. Gilead release

Pharma News

> Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler (photo) won praise in the U.K. yesterday for lecturing his fellow executives about public trust. "At last an executive that gets it," the Telegraph reported after Kindler's speech at the annual conference of CBI, Britain's biggest business lobby. Report

> Does pharma's consumer advertising increase sales--or just prices? A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that at least for Plavix, the blockbuster blood thinner marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis, a big advertising campaign didn't do much to boost prescriptions. But Plavix prices increased immediately, researchers found. Article

> A new study posits that the cardiovascular risks of Merck's long-withdrawn Vioxx drug could have been identified by 2001 if trial data were pooled, regularly updated, and made available for independent analysis via an almost-real-time public database. Vioxx report

> Pharma has caught the eyes of private-equity investors. Drugmakers' stocks are down compared with earnings, and the industry could get a shot in the arm from healthcare reform. But not just any drugmaker will do. Report

Manufacturing News

> A contaminated batch of raw material has led to the recall of 120,000 bottles Vicks Sinex nasal spray. Article

> If API manufacturing does find its way out of Asia, it may want to stop in the UK. Report

> Circumstantial evidence suggests that the U.S. practice of importing active drug ingredients from Asia may be running out of steam. Article

> Last week's multinational effort to crack down on drug counterfeiters--operation Pangea--shows that the public safety threat raises intellectual property theft to a new level. Report

And Finally... A Tel Aviv University professor has developed a wound dressing based on engineered fibers that can be loaded with drugs like antibiotics to speed up the healing process, and dissolve when they've done their job. Report