Caraco cuts staff; Novartis extends MorphoSys pact;

> With its manufacturing operations in limbo, Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories announced that it is in the process of instituting an ‘indefinite reduction in its workforce' of approximately 350 employees. Caraco report

> MorphoSys and Novartis have extended a discovery pact originally forged in December 2007 by an extra 10 years. The pact, which originally included a commitment of more than $600 million, will now run until 2017. Release

> Millipore has signed off on a deal to use its technology to develop immunoassays that can measure Proteome's Alzheimer's disease biomarkers. "The ability to quickly test for these biomarkers will enable researchers to develop new drugs and diagnostics to treat and monitor patients with Alzheimer's," the companies said. Story

> Officials in the Philippines are asking for $393 million to stockpile antivirals and vaccines to combat swine flu. Story

> ViraCor Laboratories and IBT Laboratories have announced plans to merge. ViraCor specializes in infectious disease testing and IBT has developed tests for allergies. Both labs operate in the Kansas City area. Report

> Edward Scott, the former CEO of Lifeblood, has purchased group's biological services division, called Key Biologics. Story

Pharma News

> With healthcare reform topping lawmakers' to-do lists, politics is high up on Big Pharma's priorities. The Center for Responsive Politics has crunched the numbers and found that the pharma industry is spending $1.2 million a day on lobbying. Lobbying report

> When does outsourcing get out of whack? When contractors don't live up to their end of the deal. Eight pharma companies were forced to recall generics in the U.K. last week after regulators found "serious" deficiencies in manufacturing practices at a single contract manufacturer in India. Report

> The New Jersey Supreme Court deemed litigation over Johnson & Johnson's antibiotic Levaquin as a mass tort, which is expected to encompass thousands of cases. Report

> Once again, India has knocked down Novartis' effort to get patent protection for its blood cancer drug Glivec. Report>

Biotech IT News

> It's difficult to keep from writing things like "cloud announcements keep rolling in," but here it goes: Israeli messaging and internet security technology provider Commtouch has expanded its cloud infrastructure with the launch of a fifth detection center, this one in Washington, D.C. Report

> Life Technologies has agreed to sell its SQL*LIMS lab information management software business to LabVantage Solutions for an undisclosed amount. Report

> Digital pathology solution provider BioImagene has unveiled Companion Algorithms for use with its Virtuoso Internet-based software. Report

> Accelrys has unveiled version 2.5 of its Discovery Studio modeling and simulation software, which runs on the Pipeline Pilot operating platform. Report

And Finally... The Los Angeles Times offers a primer on therapeutic cancer vaccines, reviewing the field's promise as well as the considerable work that remains in demonstrating their effectiveness. Article