CSL ready to start human swine flu vax trial; Archemix and Dicerna to collaborate;

> Australia's CSL says it's ready to begin human tests on a new swine flu vaccine. CSL is the only vaccine manufacturer in the southern hemisphere. Report

> Shares of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals surged on the news that it has won fast-track status for its experimental treatment for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Story

> Incyte has reached a Special Protocol Assessment deal on the design of its late-stage trial of a new therapy for myelofibrosis. Report

> Archemix and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals have inked a deal to collaborate on aptamer-DsiRNA therapeutics that leverage both the intracellular delivery capabilities of Archemix's aptamers and the potent gene silencing of Dicerna's DsiRNA molecules. Release

> The FDA has approved Novartis' Tekturna HCT, a new combo blood pressure therapy that matches Tekturna and the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide. Report

> OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals is raising $9.5 million through the sale of new shares. Story

Pharma News

> What's almost as good as sales from a new cancer drug? Bigger sales of an old one. That's one reason why drugmakers are pushing hard for long-term chemotherapy. Report

> New numbers from lobbying reports filed yesterday show that PhRMA ploughed $6.2 million into lobbying during the second quarter. Pfizer spent more than any other individual drugmaker at $5.6 million. Report

> Apparently, there's more to Johnson & Johnson's recent billion-plus deal with Elan. Reuters and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that in addition to the Alzheimer's drug rights and minority position that changed hands, the two companies also have an agreement on the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. Report

> Wal-Mart slashed its employee drug benefits in half, cutting the number of branded meds on its formulary to 128 from 260, BNet Pharma reports. The company is going from a two-tiered branded-drug plan to one, and getting rid of most of its second-tier drugs in the process. (Treatments it calls "specialty drugs," including biologics, will still be covered.) Report

Research News

> The long, hard journey between a medical inspiration in the lab and an FDA approval often takes years--and years--to complete. Now the University of Florida at Gainesville will see if $26 million in NIH grant money can shorten that scientific odyssey. Report

> Pumping good antibodies into the blood stream through the use of intravenous immunoglobulin could significantly lower a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's and other disorders of the brain, according to a team of researchers. Report

> A team of scientists report that they've made a key breakthrough on a new therapy that can prevent anaphylactic shock--a severe allergic reaction that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death. Report

> A synthetic molecule developed at the University of Rochester in New York was used to restore the healthy operation of muscle cells and reduce symptoms of the most common form of muscular dystrophy. Report

And Finally... Injecting stem cells into the brains of mice proved a direct and effective approach for rescuing memory lost to Alzheimer's, according to a group of researchers at the University of California who believe that they may be on to a new approach to treating the epidemic. Article