Pfizer, Merck KGaA roll into Phase III with cancer immunotherapy; Allergan cutting 577 more jobs;

@FierceBiotech: Roche bets $555M on an Indian biotech's immuno-oncology drug. News | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: What's driving the massive social media campaign for Genervon's ALS drug? (Exaggerated claims and a false assumption). Editor's corner | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: "No immediate response from the company, which ... has cited biblical prophecy as an inspiration for its work." Article | Follow @DamianFierce

> Partners Pfizer ($PFE) and Merck KGaA have kicked off Phase III development for avelumab, a checkpoint-blocking immunotherapy, planning to enroll patients with non-small cell lung cancer in the first of many late-stage trials. More

> Merck ($MRK) is working with TetraLogic on a trial combining its PD-1 inhibitor Keytruda with the latter company's immune-modulating birinapant on patients with solid tumors. News

> Allergan is canning 577 workers as part of new parent Actavis' ($ACT) plan to cut costs. Story

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: ICYMI: NEA-backed Cartiva raises $6M after a recent FDA nod, as it heads into a PMA review. Story | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: UPDATED: HeartWare device meets trial endpoint, but stroke data a big concern. ICYMI | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: VisualDx sees big future for mobile diagnostic tool. FierceDiagnostics report | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> FDA approves first near vision correcting implant that doesn't require cataract surgery. More

> Endo settles more than 350 vaginal mesh suits. Article

> Report: Patterson Companies looking to shed rehab supply business. Story

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Shanghai Haohai Biological plans Hong Kong IPO to raise $263M. FiercePharmaAsia story | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: ICYMI: 275 GSK jobs at risk with consumer health move from Pittsburgh. Some will get offers in New Jersey. Article | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: ICYMI: Bad news, Teva--Sandoz has an FDA nod for generic Copaxone. But when will it launch? Story | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Pfizer prevails in first court test of Zoloft birth-defect claims. Report

> Allergan to cut loose 577 more workers in Irvine. News

> Which deal gets done: Teva's rumored Mylan bid or Mylan's Perrigo offer? More

Animal Health News

> Fears of dog flu epidemic spread as questions arise about vaccine's effectiveness. News

> UN restrictions on narcotic ketamine would impede veterinary practices, trade group argues. More

> FDA coordinates with pharma to address IV fluid shortage. Item

> Cannabis biscuits sell out as lobbyists push medical marijuana rights for pets. Story

> Nexvet regroups as key study on lead dog drug shows 'low probability' of success. Article

Biotech IT News

> Sanofi sues drug information startup over side effect info. Item

> Biopharma puts better use of existing data at top of R&D wish list. More

> Apple, IBM team up for Watson-fueled assault on health research. Article

> California starts statewide precision medicine initiative with Atul Butte at the helm. Story

> PatientsLikeMe adds AstraZeneca to growing list of big-name clients. Report