Labopharm FDA response accepted; Antisoma announces expanded ASA404 trials; brain cancer therapy a success in trial

> The world's biggest generics firm may be about to get bigger--a lot bigger. Teva is reportedly in talks to buy Barr Pharmaceuticals for upwards of $5 billion; some reports quote a price as high as $7.5 billion. Report

> Labopharm announced that the response that it submitted to the FDA on July 2, including the additional analysis of existing data as suggested by the agency, has been accepted as a complete, Class 2 response. The action date assigned by the FDA under the PDUFA is January 2, 2009. Release

> The UK's Antisoma says that development partner Novartis AG will expand its late-stage trials of ASA404 as a second-line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. Antisoma won't earn any milestones on the expansion but could potentially earn larger royalties from wider use of the drug. Story

> Sciele Pharma says the FDA has asked for more information on its experimental therapy for head lice. The company did not detail the FDA's request. Report

> Galapagos announced today that Boehringer Ingelheim has exercised its right to license two drug targets from the autoimmune research agreement with Galapagos' BioFocus DPI service division. Galapagos release

> GNI and EpiCept have reached agreement to develop a new therapeutic drug, EP1013, in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, for late-stage viral infection-induced hepatitis. Release 

> The UK's chief medical officer is predicting that new vaccines will be available within five to 10 years that can protect hospital patients against deadly superbugs that kill thousands of people. Report

> While CEO Malvinder Singh came out gunning yesterday against his company's critics, the big Ranbaxy probe has already spawned one follow-up investigation and may spawn more. Report

> Johnson & Johnson's Doribax squeaked through an FDA advisory panel yesterday, winning its blessing as an effective treatment for hospital-acquired pneumonia on a 7-6 vote.

> Profits are way up at both Abbott Laboratories and Novartis, continuing--so far--pharma's strong showing this quarter. Report

And Finally... An experimental dendritic cell vaccine for glioblastoma multiforme--a lethal brain cancer--has demonstrated a successful immune response in a key study. Vaccine report