Schizophrenia drug demonstrates promising results; Pfrizer 'keen' to buy Wockhardt's biotech biz;

> Hungary's Richter Gideon says that an experimental schizophrenia drug in development with Forest Laboratories produced promising data in a mid-stage trial involving 732 patients. Patients in the drug arm of the trial testing cariprazine demonstrated a significant improvement in symptoms. Researchers are now blueprinting a late-stage trial for the drug, which should get underway early next year. "Both the latest clinical trial results for cariprazine in patients suffering from schizophrenia and the previous proof of concept results in bipolar mania confirm our long held belief in this compound," said Forest CEO Howard Solomon. Report

> The Economic Times reports that Pfizer is keen to buy Wockhardt's biotech business, but the Indian company has no intention of selling it. Story

> Data from a phase II study demonstrated that oral NKTR-118 improved lower gastrointestinal dysfunction by increasing the frequency of bowel movements in patients with opioid-induced constipation, while simultaneously preserving opioid-mediated analgesia. Release

> Asthmatx says that an FDA panel recommended that its Alair System, a device used to treat severe persistent asthma, be approved with conditions. Release

Pharma News

> Yesterday, GlaxoSmithKline crowed about its emerging-markets sales growth in the third quarter. Understandably so. But the subtext of that triumph is its shrinkage in non-emerging markets--and the corresponding toll on employment there. During a video posted on the company's website, CEO Andrew Witty enumerates the Western losses: 2,200 sales rep jobs, gone. Report

> Call it an overtime bonus. Pfizer gave hefty rewards to two executives who knocked themselves out to close the Wyeth deal: CFO Frank D'Amelio (photo) will receive $1.2 million, while Biopharma Group President Ian Read gets $1 million. Article

> Can a British trust patent a treatment approach? The Mathilda and Terence Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology Trust thinks so. It has sued Amgen and Wyeth, seeking royalty payments for their arthritis drug Enbrel. Report

> AstraZeneca posted strong third-quarter numbers and boosted its full-year forecast by a whopping 40 cents per share. But one of the biggest pieces of news to come out of the company's Q3 report is a $520 million tentative agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia. Article

Vaccine News

> While the H1N1 pandemic is highlighting both the progress seen in developing new vaccines as well as the opportunities ahead for developers with new technology to offer, it's also providing epidemiologists with a real-world look into how viruses spread. Report

> With the political pressure over the shortage of swine flu vaccine quickly reaching a boil, the world's biggest drug manufacturers are scrambling to reassure an anxious U.S. government that large supplies of H1N1 vaccine shots are on the way. Article

> Novavax, meanwhile, has begun construction of a new vaccine manufacturing center in India which will rely on its virus-like particle technology to produce 60 million doses a year. Novavax news

> Microbix is blueprinting a $200M vaccine plant in China. Article

Special Report: The 2009 Biotech Graveyard

Slideshow: The Top 15 Women in Pharma

And Finally... Bad drivers may in part have their genes to blame, suggests a new study by UC Irvine neuroscientists. Release

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