Cardiome gets $25M advance from Merck; Pacific Biosciences launches partner program

 @FierceBiotech: Rigel scores blockbuster $1.24B pact with AstraZeneca. Report | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: Time put Sam Waksal on its top 10 list of crooked CEOs. Report. If he raises $50M, biotech will forgive but never forget. Follow @JohnCFierce

> Canada's Cardiome Pharma has picked up a $25 million advance from Merck through a credit facility set up last year when Merck licensed an experimental heart drug from the developer. Story

> A group of San Diego biotech organizations has obtained close to $5 million in federal stimulus money to train people for the area's biotech industry. Report

> Pacific Biosciences announced the launch of a partner program designed to help customers adopt its DNA sequencing solution into their discovery programs. Release

> immatics biotechnologies GmbH has signed a collaboration pact with Cancer Research UK for the further development of immatics' therapeutic cancer vaccine IMA950 in glioblastoma. Release

Pharma News

 @FiercePharma: Analysts: Effient won't be a blockbuster. Article | Follow @FiercePharma

> And then there were two: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Actavis Group are said to be the last two bidders standing for a final round in the battle for German generics maker Ratiopharm. Story

> Remember that safety plan for anemia meds that's been forthcoming since March 2008? Well, it's finally here. Report

> Smuggling of meds remains a widespread and dangerous problem in the Middle East, where counterfeits account for as much as 35 percent of all drugs, compared with less than 1 percent in the U.S. and Western Europe. Article

> The news on statins has been so good for so long that a bit of not-so-great news really stands out. And here it is: The multibillion-dollar blockbusters that fight high cholesterol also appear to raise the risk of diabetes by about 9 percent. Report

And Finally... For years writers had found a ready audience for books speculating on King Tut's death. Now genetic fingerprinting" reveals that the 19-year-old died from a bout of malaria and a degenerative bone disorder. Report