Merck spins out PhIII psoriasis drug in $80M cash deal; Report: Salix investors oppose Cosmo deal;

@FierceBiotech: From yesterday's FierceBiotechResearch: Human stem cells can be 'reset' to their earliest state. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Novo is looking to base a new obesity R&D group in Seattle, which would be great for them. More from Bloomberg | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: Oxygen Bio will soon be Tenax Therapeutics. $OXBT to $TENX. Release | Follow @DamianFierce

@EmilyMFierce: Naturally occurring antibiotic found in human bacterial colony. FierceBiotech Research story | Follow @EmilyMFierce

> Merck ($MRK) has struck a deal to outlicense a late-stage psoriasis drug to India's Sun Pharma, grabbing an $80 million upfront along with an unspecified package of milestones. The pharma giant says that the decision to spin out tildrakizumab, (MK-3222) is all part of its plan to sharpen its R&D focus, which is centered prominently on cancer, hepatitis C and a few other areas. In the deal Merck agreed to continue the R&D work, with Sun covering the costs. Psoriasis has been a big field in R&D, inspiring a long lineup of rival therapies that are now hitting the market. Release

Reuters is reporting that a large group of Salix ($SLXP) investors are rebelling against a plan to merge with a subsidiary of Cosmo Pharmaceuticals in a new tax inversion scheme. Story

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: ICYMI yesterday: Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute develop dialysis device to fight Ebola. Article | Follow @FierceMedDev

@MichaelGFierce: Vaxxas' nanopatch garners WHO support in search of #polio vax application. More | Follow @MichaelGFierce

@VarunSaxena2: ICYMI: St. Jude halts Portico TAVR implants over safety concerns. Story | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: IVF grows by leaps and bounds as 1% of U.S. babies are conceived through assisted reproductive technology. Story via The Atlantic | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Medtronic unloads instrument lines to Integra for $60M. Story

> FDA takes step toward standardized medical device labeling. Article

> Avinger raises $35M for PAD catheter that combines imaging and treatment. News

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Merck KGaA negotiates huge production deal with Lupin. ICYMI yesterday from FiercePharmaManufacturing | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: MannKind says it and partner Sanofi can fatten their margins on Afrezza by using Sanofi API. Story | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: AstraZeneca sends James Van Der Beek 'camping' to promote flu vaccination. Article from FiercePharmaMarketing | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Are obesity drugs nearing a breakout? Novo, Takeda think so. More

> Sanofi and MannKind hatch plan to boost the margins on Afrezza. Story

> Pension fund sues AbbVie over expected high taxes from Shire deal. Article

Drug Delivery News

> Researchers deploy nanoparticles that can alter packaging of DNA. Item

> Vaxxas' nanopatch garners WHO support in search of polio vax application. Story

> Civitas, NeuroDerm, EyeGate to pursue IPO dreams, combined $165M on the line. Article

> Drug delivery specialist Genisphere receives an additional $2M in funding. News

> Market research firm: RNA-based drugs to exceed $1B in sales by 2020. Report

Diagnostics News

> Gene-sequencing leukemia research could boost Dx and treatment for kids with a rare disease subtype. More

> Pittsburgh outfit launches blood Dx to measure pediatric transplant rejection risk. Report

> Belgium's VolitionRx touts positive early results for noninvasive colon cancer Dx. Story

> Amarantus scores a small victory in the advance of its Alzheimer's Dx test. More

> BG Medicine slashes staff before launching automated version of heart failure test. Article

Pharma Marketing News

> AZ faces market-making task to capitalize on Movantik's edge in OIC. Article

> Sanofi, MannKind say cutting insulin costs will make Afrezza more competitive. Item

> First-to-market launch? Bonus--but double bonus if you're Big Pharma. More

> AstraZeneca sends James Van Der Beek 'camping' to promote flu vaccination. Story

> Xtandi field force gets a staffing boost for market-share battle with Zytiga. Article