Novartis CEO talks animal rights 'terrorism'; FDA staffers question GE imaging drug;

> In an interview with a German newspaper, Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella characterized the recent desecration of family graves by animals rights militants as "wicked," adding that more needs to be done to curtail their activities. "How far do things have to go before you can speak of terrorism?" Vasella told the newspaper. Story

> Millipore has acquired BioAnaLab, an Oxford-based company that offers assay transfer and development, validation and sample analysis, pharmacokinetics and toxicokinetics, immunogenicity, biological potency, and vaccine services. Release

> With an FDA panel of experts scheduled to meet tomorrow, FDA staffers raised questions about the clinical data provided for GE Healthcare's imaging drug Datscan. Story

> Japan's Daiichi Sankyo says it will delay its open offer for a 20 percent stake in India's Zenotech Labs after a government tribunal told the company to put the offer on hold. The two companies have been squabbling over the price of the open offer. Report

> As expected, the U.S. Senate has unanimously confirmed Dr. Francis Collins as the next head of the NIH. Story

> Ikaria has struck a deal to acquire the exclusive worldwide license to Fibrex Medical's portfolio of investigational compounds for a range of critical care conditions. No financial details were provided. Release

> Rx for Africa and Zirus have created ZiRx Therapeutics, a joint venture that will use Zirus' anti-viral discovery platform to target host cell proteins with drugs that potentially block or stop the spread of infectious diseases in new ways. Release

> Molecular Insight has launched a Phase II trial of its oncology drug Azedra. Story

Pharma News

> Washington has erupted over Big Pharma's $80 billion healthcare reform deal. Report

> In drug liability litigation, the first case to come to trial always is closely watched. Lawyers, plaintiffs and companies alike want to know their opponents' strategies. And perhaps most importantly, they want to know how jurors respond to testimony. The inaugural trial in Merck's defense of its Fosamax bone drug is no exception. Report

> In the stimulus package passed earlier this year, lawmakers tinkered with privacy rules on prescriptions. If enforced strictly, the new rules would throw a major wrench in the data-mining so many drug marketers rely on. Report

> A new study published in British Medical Journal found that there's no evidence that Tamiflu or Relenza really prevent complications in kids 12 and under. Report

Biotech IT News

> Interoperability and integration remain the two big nuts to crack in the automation of clinical trial functions, which holds promise of data efficiencies and cost savings in drug development. Report

> KEM Clinicals is an update of Ariana Pharmas' Knowledge Extraction and Management platform, a decision-support tool for drug researchers. The new version supports clinical development and safety processes. Report

> Content compliance can be achieved in six steps, says Stephen Bergson, executive VP at Virtify. Global standards and regulatory mandates are evolving. Life sciences companies need to prepare to meet them. Report

> Version 7.0 of Genedata's Screener lead-discovery system was unveiled at IBC's Drug Discovery & Development conference in Boston last week. Report

> The iPhone joins Twitter and social networks among the latest ways to find clinical trials. For $0.99, you can search tens of thousands of clinical trials by disease or condition, according to an announcement from trial-matching platform developer Healogica. Report

And Finally... UCLA researchers uncovered a new way to scan brain tumors and predict which ones will be shrunk by the drug Avastin--before the patient ever starts treatment. Report