J&J's R&D successes earn some respect on Wall Street; AstraZeneca starts hatcheting positions in cutback; Is GSK plotting a hike in HGS bid?

@FierceBiotech: The ethics of finding markers in a fetal genome. Commentary | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Novartis is going to invest $700M in Malaysian biotechs? Really? Report | Follow @JohnCFierce

@RyanMFierce: Sequoia-backed startup enters race to make sense of the genome. Article | Follow @RyanMFierce

> JP Morgan analyst Michael Weinstein has handed an upgrade to J&J ($JNJ), which earned some respect for its R&D successes, including the approval of Zytiga. Report

> AstraZeneca ($AZN) said it was going to cut 7,300 more jobs and that is what it has started doing. In Sweden, that means 400 jobs, mostly administrative, with a majority coming from a facility in Södertälje, reports The Local. The cuts follow negotiations with the union, the paper says. Report

> Some prominent analysts are speculating that GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) may be on the verge of increasing its bid for Human Genome Sciences ($HGSI), even though no rival bidder has appeared to spark an auction. Story

> A new venture fund called Select BioVentures is out trying to raise $200 million to invest in Florida life science companies. Report

> Astex Pharmaceuticals in the U.K. won a $5.4 million milestone after J&J's Janssen got the green light for a Phase I study of their Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor (FGFR) kinase inhibitor. Story

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Here's an offbeat pharma story: Sanofi's investor relations team won the prize in a Thomson Reuters financial contest--Reuters. Report | Follow @FiercePharma

> Drugstores accuse Pfizer, Teva of blocking Effexor generics. Report

> Are the dog days over for Johnson & Johnson? More

> Big Pharma's Japanese sales gain as U.S., Europe lag. Story

Medical Devices News

@FierceMedDev: Advanced diagnostic imaging use has grown drastically, boosting radiation exposure risks, a new JAMA study concludes. More | Follow @FierceMedDev

@MarkHFierce: Seventh Sense Biosystems raises $10M Series A and brings on a new CEO to help develop its blood sampling system. Release | Follow @MarkHFierce

> CMS to pare back Medicare coverage for low back pain treatment-devices. More

> Brigham Young engineers create next-gen spinal disc implant. Story

> St. Jude stock nosedives after reported Durata lead flaw. News

Drug Delivery News

@DamianFierce: One U.K. company is developing a chocolate-based drug delivery platform, and NIH has taken notice. Story | Follow @DamianFierce

> Zogenix signs co-promotion deal for needle-free migraine treatment. More

> Allergan looks to needle-free delivery for Botox. More

> J&J moves forward with next-gen insulin delivery. Item

Biomarkers News

> Cluster of genes is biomarker for breast cancer recurrence. Story

> Methylation marker tags leukemia outcomes. Article

> Gene signatures tag breast cancer drug response. News

> Scientists detect Down syndrome using mother's blood. More

And Finally… Investigators at the Boston University School of Medicine say they've identified a novel new set of proteins that build up in the brains of Alzheimer's victims, a development that may point to a new biomarker for the disease. Release