Longwood closes $85M biotech fund; FDA greenlights ESC trial for macular degeneration; Gottlieb castigates FDA;

@FierceBiotech: Burrill predicts big surge in biotech buyouts for 2011. News | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: New drug approvals are low. Favre says he will retire. Some things never change.

> Bucking the trend, a trio of biotech veterans announced last week that they had closed an $85 million biotech fund for Longwood Founders Management. Longwood has invested in Alnara and recently joined a $16 million round for Verastem. Story

> Investigators for Lundbeck and Biotie announced that the first two of three planned late-stage studies of nalmefene have produced some promising results for the drug, which is designed to treat alcohol dependence. The last Phase III study should produce data in the second quarter of this year. Story

> The FDA has provided a green light to Advanced Cell Technology to begin a small human trial of a new embryonic stem cell treatment for macular degeneration. Investigators will inject retinal cells into the eyes of a dozen volunteers. Report

> The FDA is giving a green light to a new testosterone gel developed by Endo Pharmaceuticals and ProStrakan. Shares of Endo were buoyed by the news, Reuters notes. Article

> ProNAI Therapeutics has raised $1.7 million. Story

And Finally... Scott Gottlieb has fired a shot across the FDA's statistical-confidence bow. The former FDA Deputy Commissioner, using the Wall Street Journal as his command post, charges the regulator with "steadily disregarding" the provisions of the FDA Modernization Act that give it "broad discretion" to reduce the quantity and rigor of clinical data needed to approve drugs targeting grave illnesses. Report

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