Xanodyne hires new CEO; Partnerships complicate merger deals; Stem Cell Sciences in Melbourne shuttered;

> Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals has hired Michael Valentino as its new CEO and completed a $38 million financing of the company. Story

> A complicated set of industry partnerships in the biotech industry has clouded exactly who controls a product, and that issue has made it more difficult for companies to complete buyouts. That issue was front and center in the recent collapse of talks between Elan and BMS. Report

> The U.S. parent company has decided to shut down Stem Cell Sciences in Melbourne but will continue its work in America and the UK. There is just one private stem cell company doing research now in Australia, down from four. Story

> Shares of Takeda slid on the news that it is delaying a European filing for its diabetes drug alogliptin until 2012. The Japanese company says it wants to complete a long-term study before it seeks European approval. Report

> Spain's Zeltia says it is close to a deal with a U.S. company to develop the psoriasis drug Kahalalide. Story

> Pharming says it has taken an important step in its quest to gain European approval for Rhucin. Report

Pharma News

> Is AstraZeneca doing enough to combat its coming patent-cliff sales slump? Some analysts tell Bloomberg that the company looks increasingly desperate to fill that sales chasm--to the point that it may overpay for stopgap acquisitions. AZ report

> Generics makers were on the hot seat in Congress yesterday. They got a cross-examination from lawmakers who are plotting to ban patent settlements that delay generic drugs. Report

> When, oh when, will Elan find a deal? The Irish drugmaker has tried and failed with several potential partners since it hired Citigroup in January to assess its options. With the collapse of talks with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Reuters now asks, who's left? Report

> Novartis betrothed itself to Alcon, but it may not follow through with the engagement. CEO Daniel Vasella (photo) told Bloomberg that his company might just pass on its option to buy a majority stake in the eye-care company. Report

Vaccine News

> Shares of Antigenics surged for three straight days this week after researchers released new data backing its kidney cancer vaccine Oncophage. Report

> With the World Health Organization readying a declaration of a phase 6 pandemic alert for swine flu, scientists for the world's vaccine makers have gotten down to the business of developing a new vaccine and taking orders for tens of millions of doses. Report

> GlaxoSmithKline is pushing forward with the final stages of pre-approval development of its malaria vaccine candidate Mosquirix. Scientists began injecting 1,200 infants and children involved in its Phase III trial with the experimental jab last week. Report

And Finally... A team of U.S. and Canadian scientists made an unexpected discovery that could enable vaccine makers to significantly improve the effectiveness of currently approved vaccines. They found in an animal study that the diabetes drug metformin spurred development of immune system memory cells that can ID an infection or respond to vaccines. And that breakthrough could help improve the efficacy of common vaccines as well as a new generation of cancer vaccines in development. Report

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