Richter plans $104M biotech plant; Xanodyne gets approvabe letter; prostate cancer therapy successful in early trial

> The Roche offer for Genentech is still reverberating through the news today, spawning all sorts of price speculation and predictions about Genentech's probable future if owned outright by the Swiss drugmaker. Report

> Hungary's Richter Gedeon says it will spend close to $104 million to build a biotech plant in eastern Hungary. The plant will make initially make samples for clinical testing and will initiate full scale operation in 2014. The 110 workers at the plant will concentrate on mammalian-based cell fermentation. Report

> Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals says it has received an approvable letter from FDA for Zipsor, its candidate for the treatment of patients with mild to moderate acute pain. Zipsor is a liquid-filled soft gelatin capsule containing 25 mg of diclofenac potassium for oral administration. Release

> Cell Therapeutics has scheduled a meeting with the FDA to talk about the possibility of filing a supplemental BLA for using Zevalin as a consolidation therapy after remission induction in previously untreated patients with follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Report

> Magnetic nanoparticles have been used to ‘drag' cancer cells out of the bodies of mice. Scientists at Georgia Tech coated the nanoparticles with a targeting molecule that caused them to bond to the cancer cells. Report

> Merck and Schering-Plough saw two more strikes leveled at their cholesterol combo med Vytorin yesterday. Vytorin report

> PPF Group has bowed out of the competition for the Czech generics maker Zentiva, saying it has "certain doubts about the real value of the company"--and that it doesn't want to end up in a bidding war with Sanofi-Aventis. Report

> Just a week after FDA experts narrowly rejected a new black-box warning on epilepsy drugs, new research shows that one of them, Johnson & Johnson's Topamax, may increase the risk of birth defects. Report

And Finally... An early-stage prostate cancer therapy is being hailed by researchers for significantly improving outcomes for 250 refractive men who participated in a clinical trial. Abiraterone works by switching off the production of testosterone. Report

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