MediGene provides update on trial death; Biopharma goes on building spree;

> MediGene recently put a trial on hold after one of the volunteers died.  The company said a further investigation of his death showed that it was unlikely his death was related to the drug study. MediGene release

> In the United States in the first half of 2008 alone, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries have built 31 new plants and research centers, in projects ranging from $3.5 million to $60 million--and another 52 facilities are expected before yearend. Report

> More layoffs are in store for workers at GlaxoSmithKline, which will close its Crawley site before 2011 ends, cutting about 493 more jobs than it announced previously, bring the total number of layoffs to more than 650. Report

> A new study published online by The Lancet on July 15, 2008, said that most patients taking a combination of Enbrel and methotrexate had no progression of joint damage halfway into a two-year study. Enbrel release

> The current PhRMA president was full of cagey cautions during a conference call with drugmakers. "Your house is on fire, and you're still smoking in bed," said the former Louisiana Republican congressional representative Billy Tauzin. Report

> Long-term use of Bisphosphonates like Fosamax may lead to weaker bones in some individuals. Report

And Finally... Consumers are spending less on prescription drugs in U.S. pharmacies in a rapidly declining economy, indicating that the industry is less resistant to financially trying times than previously believed. Report