Plethora reduces debt in licensing deal; Vaccine makers gain $1B for swine flu work;

> The UK's Plethora Solutions Holdings says that it received $8.4 million more from Sciele Pharma in a licensing deal for its premature ejaculation therapy. The deal will enable Plethora to cut its debt load by 90 percent. Report

> With new swine flu fatalities reported in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the U.S. government will dole out a billion dollars to a group of major vaccine manufacturers to fuel the rapid development of a new vaccine. Report

> FDA has granted priority review to Allos' pralatrexate for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). There are no drugs currently approved for use in the treatment of either first-line or relapsed or refractory PTCL. Allos release

> Hemispherx says that there could be a brief, one to two week delay in the FDA's action on its NDA for Ampligen. Release

> KineMed has inked a two-year collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb in the area of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. KineMed release

> AMRI will receive a $4 million milestone payment from Bristol-Myers Squibb as a result of the submission of a Clinical Trial Application to the Medical Products Agency in Sweden for approval to initiate Phase I studies on an AMRI compound licensed to BMS. AMRI release

> Canada's ImmunoVaccine Technologies announced a research partnership with FIT Biotech, a Finland-based, clinical stage company that develops DNA vaccines. This research will formulate FIT Biotech's GTU MultiHIV DNA plasmid with IVT's DepoVax vaccine delivery system to advance a therapeutic HIV vaccine. Release

> Scientists at the University of California have identified a 'happyhour' gene that plays a key role in alcoholism, and two blockbuster cancer drugs already target the disease pathway. Report

> A tale of two proxy contests: Biovail announced today that founder Eugene Melnyk will support the company's slate of nominees rather than vote for his own alternative slate. Meanwhile, Biogen Idec announced that two proxy advisory firms are supporting management's slate of board candidates, recommending against activist investor Carl Icahn's alternative slate. A third firm, however, didn't recommend the company's nominees for board seats. Report

> Daiichi Sankyo is cracking the whip at new subsidiary Ranbaxy Laboratories. Malvinder Singh, CEO and scion of the Indian company's founding family, has made his exit--"with immediate effect," according to the company's press release. Taking over as CEO will be Atul Sobti, until now the company's COO. Report

> When in doubt, blame the media. Chinese officials say the country's pharma exports are safe, and they vilified reports of mass counterfeiting. Report

> Scientists at the University of California have identified a 'happyhour' gene that plays a key role in alcoholism, and two blockbuster cancer drugs already target the disease pathway. Report

> WebNotes Pro is a web-based highlighting and sticky note research tool. The hosted solution allows users to compile information from multiple online sources. Report

> Chalk up two wins for Oracle: SRA Corp. has selected the software giant's Adverse Event Reporting system for an FDA project, while contract research organization Gleaneagles CRC has chosen Oracle Clinical and Oracle's Siebel Clinical Trial Management System.  Report

> File in the "new uses for approved drugs" drawer, in the erectile dysfunction med folder: United Therapeutics has persuaded the FDA to approve Eli Lilly's ED med tadalafil as a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Report

> Will the microscope on doc-pharma relationships move to Ireland? The country's Health Service chief is proposing that the government consider somehow regulating financial ties between doctors and drugmakers. Report

And Finally... Top stem cell scientists say that the NIH's newly-outlined ethical standards threaten to derail a variety of stem cell research projects currently underway. Report

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