Qiagen hunts for buyouts; AutoImmune reviews its strategic options;

> Germany's Qiagen says it's hungry for new buyouts in the diagnostics field. CEO Peer Schatz told Reuters that the company could fund new buyouts of $100 million to $200 million out of cash flow. Story

> Pasadena, CA-based AutoImmune says that it has retained Junewicz & Co. to help it review its strategic options following the late-stage failure of dirucotide, the lead drug covered by AutoImmune's license agreement with BioMS Medical Corporation. "We have asked Junewicz & Co. to pursue all strategic options available to the company, including, but not limited to, a sale or merger of the company." AutoImmune release

>  Shares of CombinatoRx jumped on the news that its knee-pain drug Synavive maintained efficacy throughout a 12-month phase II knee osteoarthritis extension trial. "Synavive appears to be well-tolerated and efficacious in reducing the signs and symptoms of knee osteoarthritis over a 3 to 12-month period," interim CEO Robert Forrester said. CombinatoRx release

> Novavax and Xcellerex forged a collaboration to accelerate the development of Novavax's vaccine manufacturing process to commercial scale and begin immediate production of Novavax's H1N1 vaccine for potential commercial sale in Mexico. Release

> GeoVax Labs says it's moving from Emory University in Atlanta to Smyrna, GA. Its new digs have 8,400 square feet of space. GeoVax announcement

> OriGene Technologie has acquired Marligen Biosciences, which offers multiplex assays for the Luminex xMAP platform for protein and gene expression profiling assays and testing services, and DNA and RNA purification kits. Release

Pharma News

> Big Pharma has plenty of its own problems. So why should it have to deal with banking fraud, too? Such is Roche's lament, in a lawsuit the Swiss drugmaker filed against Credit Suisse. Report

> Are you wonder just how many jobs Pfizer has yet to eliminate, now that its merger with Wyeth has closed? It's not as easy a number to pin down as one might think. Article

> The U.K.'s cost-effectiveness watchdog still isn't impressed by GlaxoSmithKline's breast cancer drug Tyverb. After yet another review of the drug, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence decided that using it still wouldn't be a worthwhile use of the National Health Service's resources. Report

> Deciphering big-name CEO interviews is often a read-between-the-lines exercise. Fortune's Q&A with Merck chief Richard Clark (photo) is no exception. But if you can look past the careful corporate-speak, you'll find some interesting stuff. Merck report

> Lilly, Gilead impress with Q3 sales growth. Article

 

Manufacturing News

> Schott Pharmaceuticals is adding a ready-to-fill syringe line at its plant in South Lebanon Township, PA. It's Schott's first manufacturing site for the syringes in the U.S., according to a press report. Report

> Distrust slows supply chain. Report

> Swiss pharma Helsinn has completed a 24-cubic-meter stability center at its Dublin facility. Report

And Finally... Worried by the rapid spread of swine flu, hospitals in LA have begun to restrict the number and age of visitors they allow in. "It's spreading like wildfire in the community and we need to protect the patients who are most vulnerable," said Dr. Rekha Murthy, Cedars-Sinai's medical director of hospital epidemiology. Article

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