Can MannKind deliver on deal expectations?; Exelixis shares slide on disappointing cancer data;

> Analysts are divided over MannKind's prospects for gaining a rich partnership deal on its experimental inhaled insulin therapy. MannKind's shares have tripled in price in anticipation of a deal, but some of the analysts are distinctly skeptical that MannKind can succeed in an area where much bigger names have failed. Report

> Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, have combined stem cell and gene therapy techniques into a new approach that could point the way to a cure for some of the world's most devastating ailments. Report

> Shares of Exelixis slid on Monday after the developer posted disappointing data for its experimental therapy for brain cancer. Seven of 46 patients--23 percent--demonstrated a partial response to the therapy, which did not meet the Street's expectations. Report

> New Phase III study results presented for the first time today at the ninth annual American Transplant Congress 2009 demonstrate that doubling the duration of preventive therapy with Valcyte significantly reduced the incidence of CMV disease by 56 percent in high-risk kidney transplant patients within the first year post-transplant. Release

> Cordex Pharma announced that the FDA has approved the design of pivotal, Phase IIb/III clinical trials evaluating its lead product ATPace as an antiarrhytmic drug for the acute treatment of patients with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia under the Special Protocol Assessment process. Release

> A small, early-stage clinical trial of an experimental skin cancer drug delivered some impressive results. Researchers for Plexxikon and Roche say that more than half of the patients taking PLX4032 (R7204) saw the extent of their malignant melanoma--the most lethal form of skin cancer--reduced by at least 30 percent. Report

> When the government decides to fund research of your drug for a new indication, that's good news, right? If your drug performs, then yes. In the case of Forest Laboratories' Celexa (and several generic versions of the drug, known as citalopram), the answer's no. Report

> A blood-pressure medicine has been shown to reverse the effects of early-stage liver failure in some patients. Report

> Pfizer decided to pull the plug on a study of Sutent in advanced breast cancer. Already approved for kidney cancer treatment, the drug is under study as a therapy for several other cancers. Report

> European regulators gave a boost to generics makers seeking to sell their copycat versions of the Plavix bloodthinner. At its May meeting, the Committee for Human Medicinal Products recommended that six Plavix generics (a.k.a. clopidogrel) be given the EMEA thumbs-up. Report

> The American Society of Clinical Oncology has packed up and headed back north, leaving a few straggling bits of news in its wake. Here's a roundup of tidbits we didn't want to get lost in the move; some are from ASCO, some just cancer-related and thus released concurrently. Check it out. Report

And Finally... Viral DNA was used to introduce a gene for a green fluorescent protein into monkeys, creating a new line of "glow-in-the-dark" transgenic primates for research work. And researchers involved in the instantly controversial project say this is the first time that a monkey has been genetically engineered so that a new gene entered into its DNA and was passed down to its offspring. Report

Suggested Articles

Less than two years after taking the reins from founding chief Rusty Williams, Five Prime Therapeutics’ CEO Aron Knickerbocker is exiting the company.

A Roche compound that was designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis could improve the heart's ability to repair itself, a Vanderbilt team found.

After a whirlwind year and two quick-fire raises, cancer startup Black Diamond Therapeutics has nabbed Yumanity, Merck KGaA and SR One veterans to help head up…