ExonHit plots new acquisitions; Synairgen raises $10M for trials; Thallion reorganizes;

> France's ExonHit Therapeutics is planning to make new acquisitions in the diagnostics arena. "2009 is an important year, there will be many announcements," Chairman Loic Maurel told Reuters. Report

> Synairgen has raised $10.3 million to fund new proof-of-concept clinical trials. Report

> Canada's Thallion Pharmaceuticals has raised nearly $9 million in a reorganization that splits the company into two pieces. Thallion elease 

> Eli Lilly has resubmitted its application to use Cymbalta as a treatment for chronic pain. Report

> Q Therapeutics has won a $5 million grant to study an experimental treatment for ALS. Story

> NeurogesX says the FDA has granted orphan drug designation for Qutenza (formerly NGX-4010), a high concentration capsaicin dermal patch for the management of neuropathic pain in patients with postherpetic neuralgia. NeurogesX release

> InSite Vision disclosed that the FDA approved Besivance (besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension) 0.6% for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis ("pink eye") in patients aged one year and older. Report

> Celsion has snagged $15 million from Boston Scientific for the previously reported sale of its Prolieve Assets. Release

Research News

> A blood-pressure medicine has been shown to reverse the effects of early-stage liver failure in some patients. Report

> A small, early-stage clinical trial of an experimental skin cancer drug delivered some impressive results. Report

> Researchers at Children's Hospital in Boston have identified a protein that appears to play a key role in about 15 percent of all cancers, offering a new drug target that could be particularly effective for hard-to-treat patients. Report

> Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, have combined stem cell and gene therapy techniques into a new approach that could point the way to a cure for some of the world's most devastating ailments. Report

Manufacturing News

> A high-yielding process for manufacturing clinical volumes of DNA vaccines and gene-based therapeutics is said to be scalable, from lab to clinical trials and final product manufacturing. Report

> As FluMist maker MedImmune announced its win of an HHS contract for the manufacture of a single-strain live H1N1 influenza vaccine, biotech equipment and services supplier Sartorius Stedim announced several large orders for consumables from leading vaccine manufacturers linked to H1N1 vaccine testing. Report

> To better handle its complex and voluminous regulatory documentation, Wyeth has piloted a content management system from Virtify. KMWorld reports that the drug giant chose the enterprise structured content management suite. Report

And Finally... Scientists have managed to induce cells from pigs to transform into pluripotent stem cells, a breakthrough that could lead to new, genetically matched animal models for drug research as well as the use of genetically engineered pigs to grow organs for human transplant. Release

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