NC Biotech Center blueprints $10M expansion; Xenoport pulls plug on development program;

> The North Carolina Biotechnology Center is blueprinting a $10.4 million expansion. Construction of a 20,000-square-foot facility begins in the fall. Report

> ImmunoCellular says it stands to gain up to $32 million from Roche in exchange for a research and license option deal giving the pharma company rights to study ICT-69 antibody for multiple myeloma and ovarian cancer. Report

> XenoPort is pulling the plug on its development program for XP19986 as a treatment for acute back spasms after reviewing preliminary Phase II data. XenoPort release

> Shares of Spain's Almirall were buoyed by the news that the developer plans to file for European approval of its COPD therapy in the early part of next year. Story

> New Hope, PA-based BioLeap will put its computational fragment-based drug design technology to work for GlaxoSmithKline. Terms were not disclosed. Story

> Otsuka Pharmaceutical has extended its research pact with MethylGene by six months, paying $625,000 in additional research funds for the privilege. Release

> CytRx says it will respond to the FDA's letter asking for more info on arimoclomol in the fourth quarter. The FDA halted a trial of the ALS therapy in January. Story

> Evotec has struck a new research agreement with Biogen Idec. Evotec release

Pharma News

> As if Botox wasn't big enough. Allergan is on the verge of a big expansion in use of the muscle-relaxant-turned-ubiquitous-cosmeceutical, with new data due on its use as a migraine remedy. Article

> Look out: Another FDA import ban has come. Apotex, Canada's biggest drugmaker, has seen its products stopped at the U.S. border after a plant inspection identified deviations from manufacturing rules. Article

> Sepracor shareholders aren't happy. They're so unhappy that management agreed to sell itself to Japan's Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma at $23 per share that they've sued, calling the price unfair and inadequate. Article

> Mylan's CFO is packing her bags after only three months on the job. And the company isn't saying why Jolene Varney, who joined the drugmaker in June from Dr. Pepper Snapple, is beating a path for the exit, prompting at least one analyst to downgrade the stock. Article

> The jury in the bellwether Fosamax case against Merck said today that they could not reach a decision, but the federal judge presiding over the case sent them back to the deliberation room to keep trying. Article

Manufacturing News

> United Therapeutics has pulled out all the green stops in its recently completed facility in Research Triangle Park, NC. The hub-and-spoke building houses manufacturing at the core with R&D and administrative functions as spokes. Article

> GMP expert Lachman Consultants is overseeing production re-start at embattled specialty drug maker KV Pharmaceutical, which is preparing for an FDA inspection required before it can resume product shipments. Article

> Amsterdam-based SynCo Bio Partners has expanded its reach to Japan, where it will manufacture a live biotherapeutic for an emerging Japanese pharmaceutical company. Article

> Five strategies based on industry best practices can help pharma manufacturers improve forecast accuracy and manufacturing planning. Article

And Finally... Even after bacteria are flattened by specially-designed nanoslits, they can still grow and divide at normal speeds. Release