Crucell sees big government interest in flu antibody; Cephalon completes Arana buyout;

> Shares of Anadys Pharmaceuticals jumped 26 percent this morning after researchers reported that ANA773 demonstrated efficacy in Hepatitis C patients. Report

> Crucell is preparing to start clinical trials of a promising new antibody for flu that can compete against Tamiflu. "There is a huge interest from governments in an antibody like that. With the threat of swine flu on our back we do expect that there are some governments we could strike a deal with," CEO Ronald Brus told reporters. Report

> An FDA advisory panel will meet September 2 to review Allos Therapeutics' cancer drug candidate pralatrexate. Release

> Cephalon has completed the acquisition of Australia's Arana Therapeutics. It agreed to pay $207 million for Arana last February. Cephalon release

> Sepracor is asking Canadian regulators to approve eslicarbazepine acetate as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial-onset seizures in adults with epilepsy. Report

> Antisoma has assigned all rights to P2045 to Bryan Oncor. The radiolabelled somatostatin analogue has completed a Phase I trial in non-small cell lung cancer. P2045 had been added to Antisoma's portfolio through the acquisition of Xanthus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in June 2008. Report

Pharma News

>If there's anything that folks who follow the drug biz know, it's that branded drugs are falling off the patent cliff at an increasingly rapid pace. And with drugmakers losing sales left and right to generic competition, they're doing anything and everything they can to make up the difference. One of those things is the old if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em strategy: Branded drugmakers are pumping up their own generics businesses. Report

> Since the surprise settlement of Pfizer's first Neurontin-related case to hit trial, the company and its lawyers have been ordered to stay away from a key plaintiffs' witness. Report

> Bayer may have lost out in the bidding for Schering-Plough's animal health business, but another deal may be in the company's near future. And that willingness to deal is a turnabout from CEO Werner Wenning's (photo) stated priorities back in March. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline and Roche may not be the only drugmakers to profit off a pandemic-fueled appetite for antiviral drugs. As the H1N1 flu penetrates India, domestic pharma companies are watching their stocks soar. That's despite the fact that analysts expect antiflu meds to have a less-than-enormous impact on their earnings. Report

> It's a pitched battle over Prograf. Fast-moving, too: FDA rejected Astellas Pharma's petition for tougher-than-normal approval standards for copycat forms of its transplant drug. Novartis got the FDA nod for its version. Report

Biotech Research News

> Metabolic profiling--an analysis of chemical reactions in the body--holds the promise of selecting the best drug at an optimum dose for a patient, according to a group of scientists in the U.K. Report

> The FDA is putting researchers on notice: If you manipulate data or put study participants at unnecessary risk, you'll face debarment and disqualification as an investigator of new drugs and devices. And trial sponsors will find it easier to identify researchers who are prohibited from participating in new work. Report

> The Stanford engineer who founded Helicos Biosciences used the technology he helped create to sequence his own genome for less than $50,000. Report

And Finally... Scientists at Washington University have made a major breakthrough in understanding the pathway used by the body to communicate an itching sensation. Report