Nabi wins $10M loan for vax trial; Threshold snags $35M in financing;

> The National Institute on Drug Abuse has given Nabi Biopharmaceuticals a $10 million loan to help fund the company's first pivotal clinical trial of NicVAX, a smoking cessation vaccine. It's the largest grant the NIDA has ever handed out, and the third Nabi has received. Story

> Redwood City, CA-based Threshold Pharmaceuticals (THLD) has raised $35 million in private equity financing. A 'select group' of new investors that includes Federated Kaufmann Fund, Frazier Healthcare Ventures and Great Point Partners, LLC plus several of the Company's existing institutional investors and certain members of management bought the shares. Release

> Cell Therapeutics (CTIC) is seeking orphan status in the EU for pixantrone, a new drug for relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Story

> Shares of Canada's AEterna Zentaris (AEZS) jumped this morning after the developer says its partner and licensee for perifosine in North America, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, had provided positive, updated Phase II data. The company said it was pleased with Keryx progress. Story

> RealBio Technology, a Kalamazoo, MI-based start-up, picked up new investments from three groups. Report

> The Texas Emerging Technology Fund is backing San Antonio-based Azaya Therapeutics with a $1 million investment in its work on cancer tumors. Report

> LAB Research, a Canadian-based non-clinical contract research organization, announced the successful closing of its previously announced rights offering of $14.2 million. Release

> Aiko Biotechnology, which is based in Maine, plans to raise $400,000 from unnamed investors. Story

Pharma News

> Today's message from the courts: Be careful what you tout to the press. W. Scott Harkonen, ex-chief of InterMune, was convicted of wire fraud for sending out a "misleading" release that helped pump up off-label sales of his company's drug. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a potential fine of up to $250,000. Report

> The U.K. girl who died after vaccination with GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix had a "serious underlying medical condition which was likely to have caused death," said Dr. Caron Grainger, joint director of public health for that National Health Service region (as quoted by Reuters). Report

> Eli Lilly has settled yet another state lawsuit over the mismarketing of antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. Report

Manufacturing news

> For Caraco, it's all GMP now. Report

> All six bioreactors at Genzyme's (GENZ) troubled Allston plant are fully operational, the company says. Story

> Sophisticated quality measurement technologies, as well as multinational investigative and research efforts, are being marshaled to ensure the quality of drugs, says the Canadian Health Products and Food Branch. Article

> A culture shift underway since 2003 at life sciences technology provider Millipore (MIL) is yielding big benefits, the company says. It has become both proactive and data-driven, with an emphasis on quality, and Six Sigma Green Belts at every location. Report

 

And Finally...The ability to manipulate songbird genes may yield the molecular secrets of vocal learning and neuronal replacement. Release 

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