DepoMed shares soar on drug OK, $48M milestone; Regulators OK Novartis's Menveo;

 @FierceBiotech: Orexigen's Contrave: An obesity drug timeline. News | Follow @FierceBiotech 

 @JohnCFierce: Novartis' Jimenez likes animal health acquisitions, making him a likely bidder for the Merck/Sanofi ops. News | Follow @JohnCFierce

> Shares of DepoMed shot up 38 percent this morning as investors responded to the news that regulators have approved its pain drug Gralise. The approval triggered a $48 million milestone from Abbott, which has questioned whether it is required to market the drug under the agreement the two companies had signed. Report

> Novartis has gained approval for the use of Menveo, a new meningococcal vaccine, in children who are two and up. Regulators wanted more information on the vaccine's impact on infants before it makes a decision for the under-two crowd. The approval marks a big step forward for Novartis, which expects to earn up to $500 million a year from the shot. Story

> Every so often, someone sets up a dartboard of likely targets for Big Pharma buyouts. This time, the target-setter is Barron's, and the focus is on companies with market values of $10 billion or less. Most of them have at least one marketed product: "[I]t's less dangerous playing smaller outfits with approved drugs than those with treatments still awaiting an okay from an increasingly demanding FDA," the magazine points out. Report

> A Japanese research team is closing in on an application for a new drug for canine gum disease that's made from genetically modified strawberries.  Report

> Israel's Pluristem has boosted its proceeds from a stock offering to $41 million. And the company's CEO says that if it had delayed last week's offering by even a day the unrest in Egypt would have derailed the effort. Report

And Finally... Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will participate in the keynote address at BIO's annual international convention in Washington D.C. Release