Merck Serono gives $3.7M to Duchenne muscular dystrophy nonprofit; Taro gets FDA nod for psoriasis spray

 @FierceBiotech: Sanofi CEO fires surprise torpedo at Alzheimer's drug research. Report | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @RyanMFierce: How much of $TMO buyout of $LIFE depends on LIFE prevailing in DNA sequencing race? Big risk. Report | Follow @RyanMFierce

> Merck Serono has endowed EspeRare Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by three Merck Serono employees, with €2.8 million ($3.66 million) and the rights to a former compound for reposition of a Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug. Release

> Alachua, FL-based Nanotherapeutics has won a $360 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop and manufacture drugs and vaccines to combat bioterrorism. Item

> AEterna Zentaris ($AEZS) has appointed David Dodd president and CEO of the company. Previously, Dodd was president, CEO and chairman of BioReliance Corporation. Release

> Taro Pharmaceutical Industries ($TARO) has received FDA approval for its New Drug Application Topicort (desoximetasone) topical spray for the treatment of plaque psoriasis in patients 18 years and older. Release

> Life Technologies ($LIFE) has accepted Thermo Fisher's ($TMO) bid to buy the sequencing giant for $13.6 billion. News

Medical Device News

 @FierceMedDev: Special Report: 2012's 10 highest-paid Med Tech CEOs. Report | Follow @FierceMedDev

 @MarkHFierce: Luminex won FDA clearance of a new Dx system to help a key GI fecal test reach more patients. More | Follow @MarkHFierce

 @DamianFierce: The Life Tech saga is finally over: Thermo Fisher has inked a $13.6B deal to buy it. Release | Follow @DamianFierce

> Trial to begin in Intuitive surgical robot patient death. Story

> Boston Scientific eyes FDA approval for MRI-safe pacer. Report

> Biodesix snags $8.8M to boost lung cancer Dx commercial push. More

Pharma News

 @FiercePharma: Eli Lilly to lay off hundreds in sales as Cymbalta nears edge of patent cliff. Story | Follow @FiercePharma

 @EricPFierce: France's Servier under renewed scrutiny by EMA, this time for heart risks tied to Protelos, its osteoporosis drug. Article | Follow @EricPFierce

> CEO Chris Viehbacher steers Sanofi clear of drugs for Alzheimer's disease. Item

> Royalty Pharma drops $12/share cash offer in lap of Elan shareholders. Article

> FDA taking new look at Avandia risks. More

CRO News

> Absorption Systems reaches into India with partnership. Item

> inVentiv teams with Japanese CRO to tap growing market. Report

> Catalent jumps into ADCs with Redwood deal. Story

> Indian CMO Shasun inks Alzheimer's deal with Debiopharm. Article

> Bristol-Myers picks Quintiles for central lab work. More

Biotech IT News

> Chicago's elite back global hub of biomedical data. Item

> J&J, Roche and others back tech platform to bolster translational drug research. Article

> Eric Perakslis leaves top IT job at FDA. Report

> Elsevier scoops up startup Mendeley in controversial bet on open science. Story

> Accelrys, IBM, others spotlight new tech to back pharma R&D. Article

> Study taps web software in novel clinical and genetic research of infants. More

And Finally… The manager of the world's biggest endowment, Peter Dolan, director of private equity and venture capital for the Harvard Management Company, has resigned. News

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