Tommy Thompson rejoins Tamir Biotechnology; AVI discloses contract with U.S. government;

 @FierceBiotech: The fastest growing therapeutic drug classes. Chart | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: Today's Vivus vote helps explain why biotechs are having a tough time finding pharma partners for obesity drugs. It's a minefield. Follow @JohnCFierce

> Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and four-term Governor of Wisconsin, has rejoined Tamir Biotechnology as a special advisor to CEO Charles Muniz and will also be the chairman of its oncology and anti-viral business development advisory committee. Release

> AVI BioPharma has disclosed a new contract with the U.S. government for potential funding of up to $291 million to advance development of candidates for Ebola and Marburg Hemorrhagic fever viruses. Release

> Representatives of two co-owned biotech-related companies say they are interested in eventually moving to the planned Elk Run biobusiness park in Pine Island. News

> For much of Dr. Paul Gurbel's career, it's been a tale of David versus Goliath. Gurbel, the director of Sinai Hospital's Center for Thrombosis Research, conducted research for a drug that is going up against one of the top-selling medicines in the world. The new drug he has helped test and develop, called Brilinta, is up for approval by the FDA on Sept. 16. If Brilinta is approved, Gurbel said it could hit pharmacy shelves as early as December. Item

> Warner Chilcott has received a communication from the FDA related to its next generation Actonel product (risedronate sodium) delayed-release tablets extending the PDUFA date by three months to allow sufficient time to review additional information solicited by the FDA and previously provided by the company. The new PDUFA date is October 24, 2010. Release

> In the latest step of its huge downsizing, Eli Lilly told workers Thursday that it plans to cut 340 information technology jobs in Indiana this year. Article

> Top 15 Global Therapeutic Classes of 2009. Chart

And Finally... Dr. Reuven Dar of Tel Aviv University's Department of Psychology found that the intensity of cravings for cigarettes had more to do with the psychosocial element of smoking than with the physiological effects of nicotine as an addictive chemical. He hopes this research will help clinicians and health authorities develop more successful smoking cessation programs than those utilizing expensive nicotine patches or gum. Item