Spectrum inks $151M Asian pact; Dynavax strikes deal to acquire Symphony Dynamo;

> Shares of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals were buoyed this morning by the news that Nippon Kayaku agreed to pay it $15 million upfront and up to $136 million in milestones under a new pact to develop and market Spectrum's apaziquone bladder-cancer treatment in Asia. Spectrum release

> Dynavax Technologies has worked out a deal to buy Symphony Dynamo in a deal that would deliver $20 million in cash, rights to its own hepatitis C drugs and delay a $15 million payment. Symphony Dynamo was created three years ago as a vehicle to advance some of Dynavax's programs. Dynavax release

> Germany's Qiagen has signed an agreement to acquire SABiosciences Corporation, a privately-held developer and manufacturer of disease- and pathway-focused PCR assay panels. SABiosciences is based in Frederick, MD and employs a staff of around 100. Qiagen release

> Helicos Biosciences says that its improved prospects have allowed the developer to take itself off of the market. Story

> Xconomy outlines the clinical development plans of Tokai Pharmaceuticals, which is starting a trial to test the safety of a new anti-tumor medication. Report

> Israel plans to invest public funds in its biopharmaceutical industry. Story

> The UK's Funxional Therapeutics reports that the first trial of a new anti-inflammatory drug targeting asthma and other conditions demonstrated its safety, even at high doses. Article

Pharma News:

> Could PhRMA have come up with a solution to drugmakers' online and social-marketing troubles? The trade group has proposed a universal drug-safety logo that would link to risk information either on the FDA's website, a drugmaker's own site, or some other spot. Report

> The other day at FiercePharma HQ, we were joking about adding a celebrity angle to our newsletter. Even the most serious pubs have some kind of celeb coverage, so why not us? Well, lo and behold, the news handed us our opportunity. But the word wasn't good, at least not for celebrities who'd like to pick up extra dough promoting prescription drugs. Report

> As November 16 nears, hard-core pharma-watchers are biting their nails. That's when researchers will unveil the latest trial of Merck's cholesterol meds Vytorin and Zetia. Report

> It looks as if yet another U.S. drug-marketing investigation is about to be settled. As Dow Jones reports, Forest Laboratories has reached a tentative deal with the feds, which would settle civil allegations that it mismarketed antidepressants and a thyroid drug. Report

Biotech Research News:

> Scientists used a stripped down version of HIV to deliver a gene therapy payload into the DNA of two young patients suffering from a rare and fatal brain disease. Report

> Some of the country's top academic research centers are promising to leverage their considerable brainpower used in pursuit of new drugs to obtain an affordable price for their products by the time they reach the world's poorest countries. Report

> Geron's clinical stage embryonic stem cell treatment was used to restore the limb function of rats--a preclinical development that may allow the biotech company to expand the scope of its trial to include cervical damage. Report

> Biomedical researchers have mounted an advertising campaign to support the use of animals in their research work, and animal rights activists responded by targeting a University of Minnesota scientist for retaliation. Report

> Researchers at the Salk Institute have turned to a growing favorite in animal studies to learn more about regenerative medicine. Report

And Finally... Some of the country's top academic research centers are promising to leverage their considerable brainpower used in pursuit of new drugs to obtain an affordable price for their products by the time they reach the world's poorest countries. And their pronouncement is raising a red flag among biotech companies left wondering about its potential impact on new development programs. FV

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