Investigators push for switch in Alzheimer's patient profiles; Ironwood preps PhIII linaclotide study in China;

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> Two late-stage studies of solanezumab and bapineuzumab are putting the amyloid theory to the test this year. J&J ($JNJ), Pfizer ($PFE), and Eli Lilly ($LLY) are all betting that if their drugs can substantially reduce amyloid levels in patients with mild to moderate cases, they can slow the disease and ameliorate symptoms. But investigators are now awaiting word on whether they can get NIH funding for a new study that would move the target away from late-stage cases to an early-stage group. Laurie Ryan, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trials division at the National Institute on Aging, tells the Boston Globe that the key to success is beginning therapy before symptoms appear. And if she's right, those high-risk trials underway may be the last expensive bet made on mid- to late-stage cases of the disease. Story

> Ironwood Pharmaceuticals ($IRWD) has submitted the paperwork needed to launch a late-stage study of linaclotide in China. The treatment is being developed for IBS. Release

> Antisense Therapeutics has inked a deal with China's Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biotechnology and Medicine to further develop and commercialize ANP's drug ATL1102. Release

> Dr. Reddy's in India has been touting its expansion plans on the biosimilars side of the business. Story

> Somaxon Pharmaceuticals reports that it settled patent litigation concerning its sleep drug with a pair of generic drug makers. The news help push shares up more than 90%, to about 50 cents a share. Release

> EnVivo Pharmaceuticals scored a Phase II victory for its drug EVP-6124 in Alzheimer's patients, showing that the experimental treatment improved cognitive symptoms. The company aims to advance the program into late-stage development next year. Article | Release

Pharma News

 @FiercePharma: Humira sales growth helped fuel Abbott's Q2 revenues. $2.3 billion. Good for spinoff if it continues. More | Follow @FiercePharma

> J&J ramping up OTC production as 'decree' work allows. Article

> As Abbott nears breakup, Humira keeps on truckin'. Report

> Can Vivus diet drug beat Arena's Belviq? More

> Lexapro sales tank by 81% as Icahn fires back at Forest Labs. Story

Medical Device News

@FierceMedDev: Teleflex says it's buying catheter firm Hotspur for $15M and selling off its ortho unit for $45M. Item | Follow @FierceMedDev

 @MarkHFierce: St. Jude's Medical's Q2 earnings disappoint. Story | Follow @MarkHFierce

 @DamianFierce: Steris is buying U.S. Endoscopy for $270M in cash. More | Follow @DamianFierce

> Mindray seals $35M deal for Dragonbio's orthopedics implant line. More

> Abbott's Dx investment pays off with Q2 growth. Story

Drug Delivery News

> Ex-Sanofi exec joins Kala as President and CEO. Story

> Tekmira's technology delivers Alnylam Phase I RNAi results. Article

> Tea leaves could deliver prostate cancer treatment. More

> Microparticles deliver vaccines to the gut. Item

> NuPathe stock climbs on migraine patch resubmission. News

Biomarkers News

> The ethics of Alzheimer's risk testing. Report

> Genetic biomarkers tag antipsychotic weight gain. Article

> U.S. researchers gain $6.5 M grant to smoke out COPD markers. News

> Markers map slide into Alzheimer's. More

> Biomarkers could make multiple sclerosis diagnosis easier. Story

> DeCode, Genentech find gene mutation marks protection against Alzheimer's. Article

> Gold stars in ultrasensitive biomarker test. Item

And Finally… A team of investigators at USC say they've seen encouraging results for an experimental stroke drug in an animal study. The scientists say that a rodent study indicates their therapy could reduce brain damage and improve behavior in human patients. Story