Merck: Organon offer to complex, must shutter R&D ops; Rexahn CEO Ahn steps down from top post; Rare diseases a hot topic;

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> Merck representatives told a Dutch court that it had to turn down an offer for Organon because it would have cost the company $700 million more than shuttering the operation. Merck has said it will close the R&D unit, laying off more than 2,000 staffers. The move is being contested as critics push for a deal. Report

> In an unusual move, Rexahn ($RNN) CEO Dr. Chang Ahn is stepping down from the top job and moving into the CSO's office.  Rexahn's lead drug, which is unpartnered, failed a mid-stage study for depression last year, and the company has come under fire from some analysts for its decision to move into Phase III with Serdaxin. The company says it is scouting for a new CEO to take the helm. Rexahn release

Xconomy takes a close look at rare diseases, which has become a hot field in the drug discovery world. Sanofi's takeover of Genzyme has highlighted all the new deals that have been struck by biotechs working in this arena. Report

> Solasia Pharma has agreed to pay Ziopharm $5 million upfront and up to $86 million more in regulatory and sales milestones in exchange for certain Asian marketing rights to its experimental cancer drug darinaparsin. Story 

Pharma News

> J&J faces trial in $1B Risperdal influence case. Item

> Reddy expects $1B in sales on blockbuster copies. Report

> 'Hurricane' of patent losses hitting Big Pharma. News

> Japan suspends Pfizer, Sanofi shots after deaths. Story

Biotech IT News

> Former MS programmer assails software patents. Report 

> Contractors tap SharePoint as EDM platform. Article 

> Oracle rouses Phase Forward in coding release. Report 

> SAS, JMP visualize safety review data. Item 

> App combo links imaging, randomization. Story

Medical Device News

> Accuray to buy TomoTherapy for $277M. News 

> Japan's Terumo buys Caridian for $2.6B. Article 

> FDA recalls Davol's XenMatrix on toxin concerns. Report 

> Medtronic launches Achieve Mapping Catheter in Europe. Story 

> Aussie firms look to make bionic eye as Argus II gets EU OK. Report

> AZ discontinues inhaler on 'technical issues.'  Article

And Finally... Researchers have developed a new way to determine when people are too fat. Story