GSK signs bacterial disease pact; Sequencing outfits sign up for $60M genome project;

> GSK has signed a $8.5 million up-front deal with Mpex Pharmaceuticals, which covers the discovery, development and commercialization of novel medicines for bacterial diseases. Release

> Three top DNA sequencing companies--454 Life Sciences, Illumina and Applied Biosystems--have joined forces with the 1000 Genomes project, putting their technology to work mapping the human genome with far greater precision and speed than ever witnessed before. Report

> The newly unveiled Undiagnosed Diseases Program at the NIH is billed as a new research program that will advance genetics work as it helps provide help to people with mystery ailments--and it's already been overwhelmed by the response. Report

> Massachusetts--which just inked a $1 billion program to help foster the industry over 10 years--commissioned a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers that showed the industry is continuing to swell even as the overall job market contracts. But the report also highlights a glaring problem for a cluster that's highly dependent on federal funds. Report

> Pharma marketers can sigh with relief. The American Medical Association won't be banning industry-funded CME this year, at least. Report

> One more tiny step in the long march toward personalized drug treatment: Researchers found a protein quirk that makes statins less than effective in some people. Report

> There are two new safety stories from the FDA to hit the press yesterday: One on Amgen's rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis drug Enbrel, and one on older antipsychotic meds such as Haldol and Thorazine. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline is finding one of its key strategies blocked by a new foe: the FDA. The kind of drugs that are slightly tweaked versions of existing meds, rather than built-from-the-ground-up new compounds are having a hard time getting through the agency these days. Report

> There's a waiting period for marriage licenses, IPOs, and flood insurance--and now, drug advertising. Report

And Finally... Research at UC Berkeley is pointing the way to new therapies that can blunt or even reverse the effects of aging on muscles. Report