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

 

Suggested Articles

Joe Jimenez has (another) new gig. The ex-Novartis boss joined the board of Century Therapeutics, a startup working on off-the-shelf cell therapies.

As Pfizer posts its full-year financials today, as usual it’s also sneaked in several dropped projects from its pipeline.

The short seller thinks Principia’s approach to the treatment of autoimmune diseases is “misguided” and likely to lead to clinical failures.