New administration offers fresh support for old stem cell lines; Kineta buys compound portfolio;

> The Bush administration's clampdown on embryonic stem cell research came to a formal end yesterday with a new set of rules for the field that will broaden federal funding to hundreds of embryonic stem cell lines created by private groups over the past seven years. Report

> A subsidiary of Seattle-based Kineta has acquired exclusive commercial rights to a portfolio of compounds from Airmid that hold "extraordinary potential for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes mellitus and numerous other autoimmune diseases. Kineta release

> Galapagos has garnered a €5.2 million milestone from GlaxoSmithKline after identifying a second preclinical drug candidate in their osteoarthritis collaboration. Galapagos release

> The financially shaky Targeted Genetics says it has struck a deal to terminate its lease for 76,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Bothel, WA. "This significantly increases our net worth and removes a considerable impediment to charting our path forward," said CEO B.G. Susan Robinson in a statement. Report

> West Pharmaceutical Services announced today that it had acquired the drug delivery device assets of Plastef Investissements SA. Report

Pharma News

> For a window into Big Pharma's new push into emerging markets, check out Pfizer and its Venezuelan operations. The world's largest drugmaker is now marketing to some of the world's poorest citizens, via a new program that sends sales reps into poverty-ridden neighborhoods. Report

> Eli Lilly has snared a big new indication for its cancer drug Alimta. Report

> Bayer is on the verge of bolstering its animal-health business with one or more of the veterinary units on the market because of pharma megamergers, the Financial Times Deutschland reports. Report

> Forces are aligning against "pay-for-delay" patent settlements. Report

> In the battle of the HPV vaccines, GlaxoSmithKline has gained new ammo. According to a new study published in The Lancet, Glaxo's Cervarix is not only effective against the two most common types of human papillomavirus, but also protects against the three next-most prevalent strains that cause cervical cancer. Report

Research News

> Scientists at Harvard have found a master human heart cell that provides the basic building blocks for three types of heart tissue. And the discovery can swiftly open a new avenue for more efficient drug discovery work in the cardiovascular arena as well as open a new avenue for researchers exploring ways to repair damaged hearts. Report

> A genetic flaw in the makeup of the H1N1 flu virus helps explain why the new flu spreads less efficiently than seasonal flu. Report

> A newly discovered cellular flaw that appears to play a big role in promoting metastasis in relapsed lung cancer cases offers a big target for drug developers. Report

And Finally... It turns out that ghrelin signaling may play a much bigger role than just encouraging overeating. New research from Gothenburg in Sweden suggests that blocking ghrelin signals may also help control alcohol addiction. Report

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