Merger forces Gilead to lay off 66 workers; Targeted Genetics issues SOS;

> Gilead Sciences' $1.4 billion acquisition of CV Therapeutics will cost the jobs of 66 employees. Gilead is closing two facilities in Colorado. Report

> A struggling Targeted Genetics says it must raise new funds in order to stay in business. "If we are not successful in the very near term at raising additional funding sufficient to support our ongoing operations, we will wind down our business or otherwise cease our operations." Release

> Buoyed by unexpectedly large sales of Relenza, Australia's Biota is returning $20 million to shareholders. The anti-viral has delivered a windfall as governments around the globe scramble to fight the swine flu pandemic. Story

> The Vectura Group has nailed a $6 million milestone payment from Novartis for progress on the development of the respiratory drug VR315. Report

> The CFO of Denmark's Lundbeck tells Reuters that an FDA approval of Sabril, a new therapy for spasms and seizures, could come at any moment. Report

> Melbourne-based Immuron says that it is in partnership talks with a ‘top-25' global pharma company interested in teaming up on its development program for a new flu therapy. Report

> Shares of China's Tianyin Pharmaceutical jumped on the news that Chinese regulators have cleared the way for Tianyin to make generic bleeding and respiratory drugs. Story

> Two life sciences companies are moving into the University City Science Center in Philadelphia. Release

Pharma News

> Merck is planning a big-time advertising push on Gardasil, hoping to revive flagging sales of the human papillomavirus vaccine. As Advertising Age reports, the drugmaker its plotting its campaign for the big back-to-school shopping season. Report

> In a New England Journal of Medicine article, Stanford Med School  researchers ask why drug labels don't include information on how the meds compare with other treatments for the same conditions. And they want the FDA to change that. Report

> Even though the final healthcare reform bill is far from hashed out, some of the political winds are clear. And it's those winds that will affect the way pharma does business as early as next year, with or without overall reform. Report

Vaccines News

> Dynavax Technologies has been talking with regulators in Europe about the potential for developing Heplisav, an experimental hepatitis B vaccine, for people over 40 who aren't responding to currently marketed therapies. Report

> Dr. Tadataka ‘Tachi' Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program, has some tough words for affluent countries that use their money to buy their way to the front of the line for pandemic vaccines. Report

> The editorial board at the San Jose Mercury-News did the math on vaccinating every American versus the likely impact of a tsunami of new flu cases and came down hard on the side of ramping up vaccine production. Report

> Bracing for an expected 'second wave' of swine flu cases once schools reopen in the fall, British officials are hammering out plans for a nationwide vaccination campaign. Report

And Finally... The emergence of new forms of tuberculosis could swell the proportion of drug-resistant cases globally, a new study has found. Release