Raptor raises $5M for merger; Wyeth takes over R&D work from Karo Bio;

> Raptor Pharmaceuticals has raised $5 million in a private placement of shares. The company plans to use the money to complete its merger with TorreyPines Therapeutics. Release | Story

> Karo Bio announced that Wyeth is taking over all R&D activities related to their drug discovery collaboration that dates back to 2001. Release

> Russia's first post-crisis IPO is being floated by the Russian Stem Cell Institute, which hopes to raise close to $5 million. Story

> BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics says it has secured the funding it needs to complete pre-clinical trials underway for the treatment of ALS. The company expects to begin Phase I clinical studies in 2010. Release

> A bankrupt Biopure says it has wrapped up auctioning off virtually all of its assets. OPK Biotech is purchasing the assets for a little more than $4 million. Report

> Cellceutix Corporation has acquired the rights to the blood pressure compound KM 732. Release

Pharma News

> Billionaire short-seller Jim Chanos has Big Pharma in his sights. The founder of hedge fund Kynikos told a U.K. radio audience that he's put a pencil to the U.S. healthcare system, and as a result plans to bet against drugmakers. Item

> Amylin Pharmaceuticals has tapped a new chairman to help navigate the post-proxy-fight turmoil at the company. Three months after a three-way proxy battle claimed its previous chairman Joseph Cook, Amylin chose Paulo Costa to head up its board. Report

> Here that new sucking sound? It's coming from a growing drain on U.K. drug supplies. As lower prices for prescription meds meet changes in the exchange rate, more and more drugs are finding their way out of the country for resale, industry watchers say. Report

> Two companies have landed themselves in hot water for the way they've marketed skin drugs. Allergan got a warning letter from FDA on its acne treatment Aczone, and Galderma was slapped around a bit for its promotion of a hyperpigmentation treatment. Report

> FDA drug-safety types are training their magnifying glass on orlistat, the weight-loss drug sold in prescription and over-the-counter forms. Article

Research News

> Following a stem cell transplant with a cancer vaccine just weeks later appears to reduce complications for patients with a particularly hard-to-treat form of acute myeloid leukemia while significantly improving the immune system's ability to fight the disease. Report

> Working with embryonic stem cells, Australian scientists have created ‘glow-in-the-dark' blood cells that could help light the way to an artificial blood supply that would do away with the need for regular donations. Report

> Sigma-Aldrich is opening up a new lab that will create lines of genetically engineered rats for use in drug testing. A dozen scientists will work at the Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering lab in St. Louis, where they will employ zinc finger nuclease technology to genetically modify the rats. Report

> Andrea Armani, an assistant professor at USC, has developed the world's first optical sensor that can spot an unlabelled molecule. And it works in a liquid. Report

And Finally... With no residual immunity in the population, researchers say that a fast-spreading swine flu outbreak this fall could leave two million Americans hospitalized, swamping services and triggering widespread fear. Article