Orphan drugs get reprieve from Germany; BMS moves forward in Zymogenetics purchase

 @FierceBiotech: Novartis, Venter team on faster vax development. Article | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: I'll be moderating a breakfast session Oct. 27 in Boston with some top trial experts. Markers, I-Spy 2 and more. Story |  Follow @JohnCFierce

> Although Germany has major drug pricing reforms on the way, small and mid-level biotech companies should get a reprieve from the expected price drops. The country's proposed price standards will not affect orphan drugs that are usually made by smaller companies. News

> Bristol-Myers Squibb's offer to purchase Zymogenetics has jumped a hurdle. The waiting period for its purchase offer of $9.75 per share of the Seattle-based Zymogenetics has expired, and the company can continue with its "short-form merger." BMS release

> Celldex Therapeutics has developed a vaccine that could lengthen the lives of glioblastoma patients. In a trial, the median survival time with the vaccine was 26 months, compared to 15 months without. Story

> Birmingham, AL-based BioDTech has received $600,000 in venture capital funding for its biological toxin removal technology. The company acquired $1 million in funds in July 2007, and plans to use the new capital to move to larger facilities and hire at least one worker. Article

> Researchers have found that combination vaccines that protect against multiple maladies work better than vaccines for individual infections, including anthrax vaccines stockpiled by the U.S. government. Item

And Finally... A Gilead Sciences operator was cited in a FDA warning letter for "making excessive body and hand movements and engaging in animated conversations." The letter went on to list various issues in the company's San Dimas, CA, facility, including potential mix-up hazards, inadequate airflow and lack of written procedures to avoid contamination issues. Story