Mayo Clinic to study atrial fibrillation treatments; Hollis-Eden names new CEO;

> The Mayo Clinic will get $48 million to compare the effectiveness of ablation catheters with drug therapy for atrial fibrillation. The Cabana trial will recruit 3,000 patients at 140 centers. Report

 Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals has promoted James M. Frincke, Ph.D., to president and CEO. Dr. Frincke joined Hollis-Eden as vice president, research and development in 1997, was promoted to executive vice president in 1999, and to chief scientific officer in 2001. Release

> Genzyme won European approval for Renvela, a newer version of its Renagel drug to help control the level of phosphate in the blood of chronic kidney disease patients. Report

Biotech IT News

> Social media transcend the professional/personal line. Report

> It's a sad refrain: With times getting tighter, we all have to be more efficient. But Rick Franckowiak, director for systems engineering at the Pharmaceutical Research & Development IT organization at Johnson & Johnson, sees an upside to the economic downturn and the challenges it creates for pharma R&D. J&J report

> Febit, a developer of automated solutions for enabling biochip applications, has integrated components of the InforSense platform to provide data analysis and visualization in the developer's Geniom microarray platform. Report

Pharma News

> Pfizer sees big growth in the Middle East. The region "is becoming one of our key emerging markets," Pfizer's emerging markets chief Jean-Michel Halfon told Bloomberg. Report

> Don't underestimate the economic downturn, Bayer's pharma chief says. Pricing pressures in the drug industry are intensifying because of the crisis. Report

> Did Novartis leap too soon into M&A this cycle? Its deal to buy Nestle's stake in the eye-care company Alcon--25 percent for $11 billion last year, plus another 52 percent next year--is getting the fisheye in the press lately. Novartis report

> FDA wants some allergy and asthma drugs to come with a new warning of potential psychiatric problems. Report

And Finally... Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have discovered how the mutated huntingtin gene acts on the nervous system to create Huntington's disease. Release

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