Spotlight On... Gilead execs tick off its three top areas of M&A interest; Galera tops up Series B with $5M; China's Qiming raises $648M fund; and more...

Now that Gilead ($GILD) faces increased competition for its goliath share of the U.S. hep C market with Merck's ($MRK) fresh arrival on the scene, the Big Biotech is keeping a mental checklist of potential new collaborations and acquisitions that might help rev up some added excitement for the company's shares. In its review of annual numbers on Tuesday night, Gilead's John Milligan--soon to be CEO--cited three key areas of interest: oncology, inflammatory diseases and liver diseases. Story

@FierceBiotech: Gene therapy pioneer James Wilson uses CRISPR/Cas9 to target liver disease. FierceBiotechResearch article | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Editas and BeiGene break biotech's IPO drought and stoke hopes of a turnaround. Report | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: Wow. I see why everyone thinks this new  ad is so disturbing. Watch | Follow @DamianFierce

> Malvern, PA-based Galera Therapeutics has added $5 million to its Series B, bringing the total to $42 million. Enso Ventures joined New Enterprise Associates, Novartis Venture Fund, Novo Ventures, Correlation Ventures and Galera Angels. Release

> Shanghai-based Qiming Venture Partners has raised $648 million for its latest fund, which will be partially focused on biotech. Qiming has invested in Zai Labs as well as the Asian CRO Tigermed. Story

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: ICYMI: At Baxter, Covidien's Almeida looks to cut costs, fuel innovation and do smaller acquisitions. Article | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: Updated w analyst info: Stryker to buy disposable device maker for $2.8B to reduce hospital-acquired infections. More | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: Diagnostics overlooked as 'first line of defense' for Zika virus. Story | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Growing interest in stroke-treatment devices highlighted by Abbott's latest deal. More

> Next 'blow up' for Theranos? The company's latest legal hire: NYT. Story

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: NCI's Cancer Centers join in HPV vaccination push. FierceVaccines story | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: FDA hands Wockhardt and Ipca more disappointing news. FiercePharmaManufacturing article | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: Witty is SO DONE with these spinoff questions. | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Valeant shells out $400K a month in hazard pay for interim CEO Schiller. Report

> Gilead's hep C juggernaut continues in Q4, even as U.S. sales fall. Article

Pharma Marketing News

> Biogen sees new Tecfidera buzz as DTC, marketing push kicks in. More

> With all eyes on Alcon, Novartis plots DTC ad push, new marketing spend. Story

> BMS expects fast-growing Eliquis to take the lead over Xarelto, Pradaxa. Article

> Gilead's hep C meds keep churning, but execs see need for deals as U.S. sales slow. Item

> Prevnar's 2015 sales surged to $6B-plus on new FDA approval in adults. Report

Biotech Research News

> Investigators at The Hutch draw up a new battle plan for metastasis. Story

> Researchers discover fusion protein that promotes cancer via three distinct ways in pediatric brain tumors. More

> Gene therapy pioneer James Wilson uses CRISPR/Cas9 to target liver disease. Article

> U.K. scientists get a green light to modify human embryos. Item

> Boston Children's team finds potential new melanoma drug target using zebrafish. Report

Vaccines News

> Pfizer's vaccine sales leap in 2015 thanks to Prevnar 13. More

> Merck, J&J, Pfizer consider joining Zika vaccine race. Report

> NCI's Cancer Centers join in HPV vaccination push. Story

> UT Southwestern team creates new drug that could aid in vaccine development. Item

> Sanofi's Brandicourt mulls pulling the plug on Merck JV: Bloomberg. Article