Merck KGaA bets big on Erbitux; Puma heads to Phase II with PB272;

@FierceBiotech: Pharmalink grabs $15M VC round for key studies on cancer, renal disease drugs. Story | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Most popular story yesterday: John Reed sets out on a long-distance run at Roche's pRED. Feature | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: Turns out FierceBiotech has an app now. More info | Follow @DamianFierce

@EmilyMFierce: Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science? Report from the NYT | Follow @EmilyMFierce

> Merck KGaA is counting on Erbitux to deliver long-term sales growth. Article

> Puma Biotechnology ($PBYI) has launched a Phase II study of PB272 in HER2-positive breast cancer patients with solid tumors. News

> BioTime ($BTX) has kicked off the development of two new hydrogels based on its HyStem platform. Item

> Regulatory Focus has put together a rundown of how the government shutdown is affecting the biopharma industry. Article

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: Covidien CEO: It's about how, not how much, you spend on R&D. ICYMI yesterday | Follow @FierceMedDev

@MarkHFierce: The device tax repeal effort just won't die. Now, some House Dems have signed on. Article | Follow @MarkHFierce

@MichaelGFierce: Hypertension drug could help chemo infiltrate tumors. ICYMI from FierceDrugDelivery | Follow @MichaelGFierce

> Cohealo pulls in $1.5M to push tech that manages med equipment use. News

> Echo Therapeutics slashes jobs, faces potential FDA delays for glucose monitor. Story

> J&J's DePuy settles CA metal hip lawsuit. Report

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: For better social skills, scientists prescribe a little Chekov--or Alice Munro--or any literary fiction. More from the NYT | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: FDA approves another new hot flash drug, this one from Pfizer, Ligand. News | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: Activist investor fumes over Otsuka bid for Astex. ICYMI yesterday | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> GSK, Genmab seek first-line CCL use of Arzerra in EU. More

> Boehringer Ingelheim gives up on troubled Ben Venue plant, laying off 1,100. Story

And Finally... 23andMe has patented a controversial "designer baby" system that allows parents to choose the traits of their children, but says the company denies it will use the technology for that purpose. Story

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