Setbacks force Sanofi to scuttle two programs; Clinuvel cites promising trial results;

> Hit with severe development setbacks, Sanofi-Aventis says that it is stopping development of two drugs. Sanofi yanked U.S. and European applications for the insomnia pill eplivanserin, citing the feed for "significant further clinical development and market access constraints." The FDA rejected that drug in September. And Sanofi says that recent therapeutic advances had scuttled its clotting drug idrabiotaparinux. Report

> Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals says its late-stage therapy for a genetic condition that causes sensitivity to UV rays has proved promising over a period of four months. Story

> Momenta Pharmaceuticals and Sandoz are terminating a collaboration deal on a biosimilar program. Story

> Shares of UCB slipped when the company announced that Cimzia failed a late-stage trial for Crohn's disease. The drug is already approved for rheumatoid arthritis. Report

> The FDA has agreed to the emergency use of a flu test developed with Affymetrix's technology. Story

Pharma News

> And you thought you could stop worrying about re-importation. Just a few days after it was killed off by senators negotiating their healthcare reform deal, it got a new lease on life from the White House. Reimportation report

> In 2009, Indian drugmakers leap ahead with Big Pharma. Report

> Sanofi-Aventis continues its shopping spree with a $1.9 billion deal for the consumer healthcare group Chattem. Sanofi news

>  The latest Senate legislation scrapped the so-called "Botax" of 5 percent on elective cosmetics procedures in favor of a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning. Article

> Has Eli Lilly anointed CFO Derica Rice as heir-apparent to current CEO John Lechleiter (photo)? Article

Biotech IT News

> Ten DNA-sequenced volunteers are posting this most private information online, unprotected. You'll recognize some of them by reputation, if not their DNA: pioneering technologist Esther Dyson, and high-ranking individuals from the tech/biotech industries and academia. Report

> The great '08/'09 swine flu bust--and the corresponding great vaccine oversupply--may be easier to avoid during the next potential pandemic, thanks to informatics work underway at Indiana University. Report

> Gene-to-candidate discovery company BioFocus has again turned to Dotmatics for drug discovery software--this time for enterprise query/reporting, data management and data visualization. Story

> Utrecht University crystallographer Piet Gros and colleagues, working on structures for the immune protein C3b, authored one of three articles on the protein published in a 2006 issue of Nature, according to The Scientist magazine. Another of the articles was published by researcher H.M. Krishna Murthy, then of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Story

> Full-service contract researcher PRA International is automating its advanced planning for Phase I studies. The CRO has selected APS software from Quintiq for trial acceptance and resource allocation at its clinical pharmacology centers in Lenexa, KS, and Groningen, The Netherlands. Report

> A clinical trial automation deal has wandered into systems standardization and data management territory, yielding an IT spending cut of $92 million. Story

And Finally... Progression to daily marijuana use in adolescence may hasten the onset of symptoms leading up to psychosis, an Emory University study finds. Release