Schering's boceprevir effective for refractory hep C patients; SkyePharma on track for asthma drug filing;

> In a follow-up report on Schering-Plough's closely watched hepatitis C drug boceprevir, researchers say that the drug eliminated the virus from more than half of the hard-to-treat patients in a late-stage study. Schering-Plough had already reported preliminary data on the drug, one of the most important in its pipeline, but revealed today its effect on refractory patients. "When you add boceprevir to these individuals, these null responders, you can get a sustained response, a cure of up to 55 percent, in the most difficult-to-treat individuals," said Paul Kwo, the principal investigator in the study. Report

> SkyePharma says that its asthma drug Flutiform successfully wrapped a late-stage trial, leaving it on track for a European filing in a few months time. Story

> Canada's AEterna Zentaris announced positive data from a Phase II study of AEZS-108 (formerly AN-152) in patients with platinum-resistant and taxane-pretreated ovarian cancer. Release

> Louisville, CO-based GlobeImmune will present Phase IIb data demonstrating that its hep C drug GI-5005 increased the end of treatment response in genotype 1 interferon-naïve patients to 74% when used in combination with standard of care, pegylated interferon plus ribavirin, versus 59% for patients receiving standard of care alone. GlobeImmune release

>  Lundbeck has begun trials of its Lu AA24493 drug candidate in Friedreich's ataxia, a rare CNS disease. Report

Pharma News

> The drug-marketing crackdown continues. Fourteen U.S. states and the District of Columbia have sued Amgen and drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen over alleged kickbacks aimed at goosing sales of the anemia treatment Aranesp. The government suits join a whistleblower case filed back in 2006. Report

> As if kickback allegations weren't enough, Amgen got hit over the weekend with a new study that raises questions about Aranesp safety. Report

> Pfizer chief Jeff Kindler is adding his voice to the chorus promising healtlhcare reform by year's end. Article

> Sanofi-Aventis CEO Chris Viehbacher has been all over the airwaves, parceling out one big piece of news after another. First came the company's earnings and an interview with Forbes magazine. Then, Viehbacher told the Wall Street Journal Health Blog that it's likely he'll hook his animal health business back up with Merck's once the latter's Schering-Plough merger wraps. Over the weekend, the CEO told a German newspaper that he intends to double his vaccine business over the next five years. Finally, this morning the company announced an executive-suite reshuffle. Sanofi report

> Byetta gets new indication, new warnings. Article

IT News

> As IBM prepares to unveil a mashup service and the latest edition of its Mashup Center software, Pfizer is revealing more about its use of the IT-staff-relieving, business-unit empowering technology. Article

> Researchers are using high-throughput sequencing technology in high-resolution human leukocyte antigen genotyping. Report

> Eye-care company Bausch & Lomb will implement Phase Forward's InForm electronic data capture solution and Allergan has also signed on with the integrated data management solution supplier. Report

> Clinical Financial Services, which offers payment and contract management services that support both CROs and sponsors, is using the iBOLT Business Integration Suite from Magic Software with its own SaaS-based ePayment solution. Item

> Contract researcher Omnicare Clinical Research has attained the Rave Accredited Plus level in Medidata's ASPire to Win program. Report

And Finally...In a first, researchers say they have sequenced the genome of a domesticated pig, a milestone that will help lead to new drugs. Report

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