J&J wraps $893M Cougar acquisition; Cepheid shares surge on test approval;

> J&J has completed its $893.7 million acquisition of Cougar Biotechnology, which is studying a new prostate cancer therapy in two late-stage clinical trials. Announcement

> Shares of Cepheid surged on the news that regulators had approved its diagnostic test for a bacterial infection. Story

> Sunesis Pharmaceuticals bagged a $1.5 million milestone payment from Biogen Idec for the selection of a Raf kinase inhibitor cancer drug candidate. Sunesis release

> Spencer Pharmaceutical announced that Emergensys Corp. acquired 100% of Spencer Pharmaceutical in a reverse merger transaction. Spencer release

> Baxter has inked a deal to use Flamel's Medusa Technology in formulating controlled release applications of blood clotting factor replacement therapies. Flamel gets 2.5 million euros in technology access fees. Release

Pharma News

> Poor Avandia. The GlaxoSmithKline drug failed an Alzheimer's disease trial, dashing the company's hopes of a new indication and up to $300 million in additional sales. Report

> Just how much danger does Plavix face from the new Effient approval? Depends on who's talking. Report

> Roche is exploring another way to boost Tamiflu sales. The company says it's starting clinical trials to test whether the antiviral is more effective if taken at higher doses and for twice as long as the current five-day course. Report

> A new study shows that patients using clozapine--sold as Clozaril by Novartis and as a generic--are less likely to die prematurely than are patients using newer atypical antipsychotics. Report

> A junior Republican senator won a late-night battle to get a drug-reimportation measure attached to the $43 billion Homeland Security funding bill. Good news (for pharma, at least): The amendment is likely to be stripped from the final funding bill. Report

Biotech IT news

> Information management ranked as the most critical IT priority for improving business performance by 75 percent of respondents to an IBM survey of midsize companies conducted last spring. Report

> Perceptive Informatics has joined with Biospective to enhance its capabilities for processing and analysis of medical images for central nervous system (CNS) and oncology related clinical trials. Report

> Aris Global's agClinical NW, a clinical trials management system for SAP solution-enabled environments, is now an SAP-endorsed business solution. Report

> On the cloud front last week: Velos unveiled the Velos On-Demand software-as-a-service delivery model for the company's eResearch clinical trial management system services. Report

And Finally... The secret to longevity may lie in an enzyme with the ability to promote a robust immune system into old age by maintaining the function of the thymus throughout life, according to researchers studying an "anti-aging" mouse model that lives longer than a typical mouse. Release