LaMattina signs up as biotech adviser; Merrion, Novo report oral insulin PhI success;

 @FierceBiotech: Amgen scores PhIII success with BioVex virus against melanoma. More | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: AstraZeneca feels sting of union backlash against R&D upheaval. Story | Follow @JohnCFierce

 @RyanMFierce: Merck slashes data-management costs with China site. Article | Follow @RyanMFierce

> Former Pfizer ($PFE) R&D chief John LaMattina has been hired to advise the U.K.'s Ziarco, which is working on new drugs for inflammatory and allergic diseases. Story

> Merrion Pharmaceuticals says that its partner, Novo Nordisk ($NVO), successfully completed a single dose Phase I trial with a novel oral insulin, NN1954. Merrion Pharmaceuticals GIPET Technology was used in the formulation. Release

> Merck Serono has struck a strategic alliance with Nordic Bioscience Clinical Development A/S on Merck Serono's investigational drug sprifermin--recombinant human FGF-18--in osteoarthritis. Release

> Lundbeck and Teva ($TEVA) announced that a study of Azilect (rasagiline tablets) for early Parkinson's met its primary endpoint. Release

> Bothell, WA-based Alder dosed the first patients in their Phase II study of an experimental migraine treatment, ALD403. Release

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Krystexxa sales still aren't taking off. Savient says Q4 sales of gout drug only up to $4.7M from $3M. Report | Follow @FiercePharma

 @EricPFierce: Italy's the 2nd largest API maker behind China, says Italian expert. Who would have guessed it? India is 3rd. More | Follow @EricPFierce

> Valeant nabs skin-care specialist Obagi for $344M. News

> Merck KGaA, Bristol-Myers plan joint assault on China's diabetes market. More

> Reuters: Roche jumps into bidding for lab equipment maker Life Tech. Story

Medical Device News

 @FierceMedDev: Post-PMA, Cardiovascular Systems pursues public offering. More | Follow @FierceMedDev

 @MarkHFierce: Spurned by Illumina, Roche may have found a new gene sequencer/Dx company to love. But at what price? Story | Follow @MarkHFierce

 @DamianFierce: With election long passed, device tax lobbyists ply Dems. Article | Follow @DamianFierce

> Sorin eyes FDA approval with heart device trial. Article

> SynCardia snags $19M for artificial heart. Report

Biomarkers News

> Luminex to collaborate with Merck on Alzheimer's biomarker diagnostic. Report

> Mount Sinai wins $5M to study vocal disorder biomarkers. Item

> Pee in a cup to diagnose gastroesophageal cancer. More

> GenoMine test spots three new kidney cancer biomarkers. Article

> Texas research team spots Barrett's esophagus biomarkers. Story

Drug Delivery News

 @MichaelGFierce: Spectrum picks up orphan cancer drug with stabilized delivery. More | Follow @MichaelGFierce

> New nanomed reduces inflammation in injured tissue by natural means. Story

> Delivery gel releases drugs in response to pressure. More

> Shire bets on PhII protein-delivery therapy to fight infant blindness. Article

> Needle-free ear infection patch delivers bacteria-killing vaccine. Item

And Finally…Investigators at Wake Forest Baptist have developed a "toxicity map" to help guide surgeons treating brain cancer. Release