Vax developers in swine flu spotlight; Alkermes CEO abruptly resigns;

> Reuters takes a look at a group of small biotech companies that are making headlines with experimental vaccines for swine flu, and they start off by dousing the lot with a bucket of skepticism. Story

> David Broecker abruptly resigned as CEO of Alkermes and was replaced by Chairman Richard Pops. Release l Story

> ZymoGenetics revealed that its mid-stage trial of the experimental RA drug atacicept -- partnered with Merck Serono -- failed to deliver the kind of data that would support a move into late-stage trials. Researchers are still studying the data. Report

> Durect raised $10 million through a stock sale. Report

> The FDA has approved Ascenta's Phase I trial for its cancer drug AT-406, which is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter. Report

> An independent group of experts has recommended that Delcath's late-stage trial of the company's Percutaneous Hepatic Perfusion chemotherapy technology should continue. Report

> Abbott Laboratories will pay up to $410 million to buy Evalve, which makes heart valve repair devices. Story

Pharma News

> GlaxoSmithKline and a bunch of plaintiffs' lawyers will have their eyes on a Philadelphia court next week. That court is hosting a bellwether liability case over claims that the antidepressant Paxil causes birth defects. Article

> Up to 10 percent of the articles in the most prestigious medical journals were written by unacknowledged, industry-funded ghostwriters. Article

> Sanofi-Aventis has won a somewhat academic victory in the Eloxatin patent fight. A Circuit Court threw out a ruling against Sanofi's Eloxatin patent rights, remanding the fight back to trial court. But the appeal victory comes too late to keep generic versions of the cancer treatment off the market. Article

> Biogen Idec and Elan are soft-pedaling research released yesterday that showed the virus responsible for a potentially fatal brain disorder is activated--and the patient's immune system weakened--by their multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri. Article

And Finally... "The Arctic as we know it may soon be a thing of the past," says Eric Post, associate professor of biology at Penn State University. Release

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