Thermo Fisher buys Fermentas for $260M: Peregrine touts promising PhII breast cancer data;

 @FierceBiotech: Anadys to ponder selling the company in strategic review. News | Follow @FierceBiotech

  @JohnCFierce: Nissen says he can cut cholesterol drug trial costs from $500M to $300M--still way more than most biotechs could afford. | Follow @JohnCFierce

> Continuing an aggressive buyout spree, Thermo Fisher Scientific has struck a deal to buy Fermentas International for $260 million. Fermentas makes enzymes, reagents and other products for research purposes. The deal should close in the third quarter. Thermo Fisher release

> Peregrine Pharmaceuticals is touting promising data from a mid-stage trial of its breast cancer therapy. Seventy-four percent of the 46 patients recruited for the trial responded to bavituximab in combination with chemo drugs. New Phase II studies are being planned. Peregrine release

> Novartis is opting to scrap its ovarian cancer drug patupilone after it flunked a late-stage trial testing its ability to prolong the lives of women with the disease. Analysts didn't seem surprised, noting that the therapy has been considered a long shot. Novartis release

> Elan is vowing to push ahead with a sale of its drug technology unit no matter how volatile the markets become. Report

> Pfizer says it halted a trial of the heart drug Inspra after hitting its primary endpoint early. Pfizer is attempting to broaden the market for the blood pressure drug. Pfizer release

> Pharming is seeking €12 million in a new share issue. Story

> In what's being described as a planned succession Xanodyne CEO Michael Valentino is stepping aside as Natasha Giordano steps in. Report

And Finally... Cigarette smoking, vitamin D deficiency and lower dose synthetic estrogens in oral contraceptives are being fingered for the rising rate of rheumatoid arthritis among women in recent years. Report

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