Merck KGaA hands off Alzheimer's portfolio to spin-out; Optimer sells stake in Taiwan affiliate for $60M;

Conversations on Twitter :

 @FierceBiotech: ACRO decries TV portrayal of clinical. More | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: Honey, we shrunk the biotech: Targacept cuts back (again). Release | Follow @JohnCFierce

 @RyanMFierce: Life Technologies bought a bioinformatics group, Compendia, a U of Mich. spinoff. Terms undisclosed. More | Follow @RyanMFierce

> Last week Merck KGaA announced its third biotech spinout from the ashes of its Swiss operation on Lake Geneva. Asceneuron will get a package of preclinical Alzheimer's drugs along with 5 million euros from Merck Serono. Merck Serono Ventures will manage the investment and will be represented on the company's board of directors. Release

> Optimer Pharmaceuticals is selling its remaining interest in Optimer Biotechnology, a Taiwan affiliate, for $60 million. Optimer plans to use the cash to back marketing efforts for Dificid. Story

> Lundbeck and ImaginAb in Los Angeles will collaborate on reengineered antibodies which can tackle the blood-brain barrier for CNS drugs. Release

> The Financial Times covers the scramble among biotechs in the U.K. to find venture backing. Story

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: A head-scratcher for SEC: Pfizer reports U.S. loss, $15B in overseas profits. More | Follow @FiercePharma

> Should FDA get more power over compounding pharmacies? Report

> CEO exits as Cipla Medpro details 'gross misconduct' allegations. More

> Novartis CEO: No on megadeals, yes on dividend. Story

> Novo exec welcomes the Bristol-AZ diabetes blitz. Article

Medical Device News

 @FierceMedDev: U.S. regulators are worried about an off-label use of stents or balloons to treat MS. More | Follow @FierceMedDev

 @MarkHFierce: CareFusion acquires a Brazilian respiratory company. More | Follow @MarkHFierce

 @DamianFierce: Olympus Biotech is tossing its hat into the CMO ring. More | Follow @DamianFierce

> Wright looks to turn the page on kickback scandal. Story

> FDA issues safety alert for Stryker fluid drainage device. Item

CRO News

> Quintiles looks to Scotland for clinical trial growth. Article

> Icon partners with Korean CRO group. More

> Catalent, Parexel team up for trial supply. News

> Olympus Biotech jumps into CMO game. Story

Biotech IT News

> Oracle, IBM support $100M personalized medicine effort at UPMC. Article

> Biotech billionaire's supercomputer cuts cancer analysis to 47 seconds. Story

> 'Big Data' startup wins deal with Aptalis Pharma. More

And Finally… Contaminated steroid injections have been linked to a rare outbreak of cases of noncontagious meningitis. Story