Celgene, AstraZeneca launch four checkpoint studies; Gilead goes shopping;

@FierceBiotech: Merck KGaA puts a lead cancer drug on the chopping block; Threshold craters. Report | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: I've got news of a sizable new biotech fund coming up at 6 EST. Stay tuned. | Follow @JohnCFierce

> Celgene ($CELG) and AstraZeneca ($AZN) have launched their collaboration around the PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab. Investigators are starting four trials of the drug and therapeutic combinations against a range of blood cancers including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndromes and multiple myeloma. Release

> Gilead Sciences ($GILD), raking in revenue with its blockbuster hepatitis C therapies, is again talking up its plans for M&A, with R&D chief Norbert Bischofberger telling the Financial Times "we have incredible cash flows and we are looking for opportunities." Story

> Expanding her focus on the drug industry, Hillary Clinton has introduced a proposal to limit the effectiveness of tax inversions. More

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: ICYMI Friday: Google Life Sciences edges into Theranos terrain with needle-free, micro blood draw patent filing. Article | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: I've never seen a team invent so many ways to lose as the Detroit Lions! I knew it was coming! Unsure of call but it's the Lions after all. | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: ICYMI from FiercePharma: Cancer drug prices vary across the globe as countries strike deals with Big Pharma: Study. More | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Danaher tags its industrial unit with the name 'Fortive' as part of the company split. More

> Cepheid nabs FDA OK for point-of-care flu test. Article

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Scientists and ethicists debate 'gene editing' for animal health. More from FierceAnimalHealth | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: ICYMI Friday: Sun to launch generic Gleevec Feb. 1 but has said it won't be manufacturing it at troubled Halol plant. Report | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: ICYMI Friday: If Pfizer's consumer health unit goes up for grabs, Reckitt's interested, CEO says. Report | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Clinton keeps heat on drug industry with tax proposal for inversion deals. Report

> GSK delays Japanese drug launch after Catalent closes plant to investigate tampering. Article

Animal Health News

> Animalytix expands to Canada with acquisition of animal-health data service. Item

> Flu expert warns against USDA move to build bird flu vaccine stockpile. More

> Scientists and ethicists debate 'gene editing' for animal health. Story

> UMass seeks 5,000 dogs for study of genes and brain disorders. Report

> Supreme Court declines to review case on legality of online veterinary services. Article

Biotech IT News

> CDC taps uBiome for large-scale microbiome sequencing initiative. Report

> Genomics England picks Skyscape to provide cloud computing power to sequencing drive. Story

> AstraZeneca wants its scientists to interact on social media. More

> Kite teams with GE in bid to lower T cell production costs through automation. Item

> Venter's HLI adds genome interpretation software in Cypher Genomics buyout. Article

Pharma Marketing News

> Olympic snowboarder Kelly Clark 'vlogs' her acne-med experience for Sun Pharma. More

> AbbVie's Imbruvica, Amgen's Kyprolis shine at annual ASH meeting. Report

> GSK delays Japanese hair-loss treatment launch on Catalent plant problems. Item

> European group joins movement to stop industry cash flows to CME. Story

> With new rivals, Baxalta faces a hemophilia smackdown. So why is Shire bidding? Article

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