Celldex, Horizon and YM raising millions to fund drug programs; Novartis' tricky task of gaining FDA nod for vax against deadly brain infections;

@FierceBiotech: Heart muscle-cell gel can treat cardiac damage, maybe carry drugs as well--FierceBiotechResearch. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Russia VC, now in Boston, will build clinical trial services infrastructure in Russia. They are throwing $$ around. Release | Follow @JohnCFierce

@RyanMFierce: Actelion and Auxilium have inked a deal for the development Xiaflex in Canada, Brazil, Australia and Mexico. More | Follow @RyanMFierce

@FierceMedDev: $WMGI saw Q4 net sales decline 8% vs. prior-year period ($126.9M vs $138.3M same period of 2010). Release | Follow @FierceMedDev

> The Infectious Disease Research Institute in Seattle has begun an early-stage clinical trial of a visceral leishmaniasis vaccine. Article

> Horizon Pharma ($HZNP) has struck of loan agreement to bring in $60 million to pay off $22.4 million in existing debt and fuel the commercialization of its arthritis drugs. Release

> Roche ($RHHBY) is expected to extend its offer to scoop up DNA sequencer maker Illumina ($ILMN) without boosting its initial $5.7 billion offer. Report

> Celldex Therapeutics ($CLDX), a developer of immunotherapies, has priced a public offering of its common stock from which it expects to net $37.7 million. Release

> An ex-Pfizer outsourcing specialist in the U.K. talked about his own CRO effort that he launched after the U.S. drug giant cut his job as part of a massive layoff. Q&A

> YM BioSciences ($YMI) has priced a $70 million offering of its common stock, saying it plans to use part of the proceeds to fund drug development. Release

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Mead-Johnson and Danone team up to rival Nestle for Pfizer's nutrition unit, Reuters reports. News | Follow @FiercePharma

> Novartis meningitis vax faces tough fight. Item

> Field narrows in contest for Pfizer's nutrition unit. Article

> U.K. enjoys bargain-basement drug prices, report finds. Report

> GSK hits back at XenoPort in RLS drug dispute. More

> Bogus Avastin has cropped up repeatedly, WSJ finds. Story

And Finally… Forbes' Matthew Herper writes about Swiss drug giant Novartis' ($NVS) struggles to gain U.S. approval of a vaccine against deadly brain infections in infants. Item

Suggested Articles

Reata’s bardoxolone improved kidney function in a phase 3 trial of patients with a rare form of chronic kidney disease.

The suit alleges the FDA imposed the hold “without notice or explanation” and has since “rebuffed” Regenxbio’s repeated requests for an explanation.

Bolt Biotherapeutics presented positive results from animal trials of its lead drug, a tumor-targeting antibody connected to an immune stimulator.