Merck launches mid-stage hep C trials; Omeros reaps positive data on eye drug; Genetically-engineered tomato reduces plaque;

Conversations on Twitter :

 @FierceBiotech: Merck finds pharma research results with online competition. More | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: BioMarin shares pop on strong pivotal data for rare disease drug. More | Follow @JohnCFierce

 @RyanMFierce: Winners named in Merck's online competition involving pharma research, Kaggle blog. More | Follow @RyanMFierce

> Merck ($MRK) plans to launch a pair of mid-stage studies for MK-5172, its NS3/4A protease inhibitor for hepatitis C. A number of developers led by Gilead ($GILD) and Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) are working on experimental, all-oral hep C treatments that don't require interferon injections. Release

> Omeros ($OMER) says it reaped more positive data from its second late-stage study for the eye drug OMS302, putting it on a path to potential regulatory approvals next year. Release

> Canada's Bioniche Life Sciences has hit the brakes on a Phase III study of Urocidin in non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer after patient recruitment failed to live up to expectations and it finished talks with the FDA about the trial design. Bioniche and Endo ($ENDP) are now discussing next steps on the program. Release

> YM Biosciences reported that its Phase I/II study of CYT387, a JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor currently being evaluated for the treatment of myelofibrosis, produced promising interim data. Release

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: FDA backs Boehringer Ingelheim's Pradaxa on safety. Big caution, though, in bold type: Use as directed. More | Follow @FiercePharma

> Sanofi brass considered pulling home base out of France. Article

> Drugmakers offer Greece option to end bad debt spiral. News

> India strips patent from Roche's hep C drug Pegasys. Story

Medical Device News

 @FierceMedDev: Some regulatory decisions on devices and drugs may face delays. Blame Hurricane Sandy. More | Follow @FierceMedDev

 @MarkHFierce: More woes for Abiomed. Shareholders will now investigate the company's marketing and labeling of its Impella 2.5. More | Follow @MarkHFierce

 @DamianFierce: The Indian clinical trial industry will continue to explode, but only if it cleans up its act, TOI says. More | Follow @DamianFierce

> For diabetics, bypass beats stents in massive 5-year study. Article

> New tech could harvest heartbeat to power pacemakers. Item

> Ishrak: Medtronic must establish economic value to drive growth. Story

Biotech IT News

> Roche seeks advances in cloud computing for cancer drug research. News

> Sanofi deal bolsters Medidata in record quarter for revenue. Article

> Titan slays Jaguar in computing comparison, open to R&D comers. Report

>Merck finds pharma research results with online competition. Story

CRO News

> Quintiles chief: CROs need to jump on sequencing bandwagon. Item

> GE pours $23M into Biocon's CRO as it plots public offering. Story

> Icon soars in Q3, plots NASDAQ jump. Report

> Cyprotex snags deal with Pfizer for toxicology. More

> Charles River pays $27M for majority of Chinese firm. News

And Finally… A genetically engineered tomato that produces a peptide that mimics the activity of good cholesterol reduced inflammation and arterial plaque in mice. Release


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