J&J's DePuy unit head resigns; Covidien launches new knee repair device;

 @FierceMedDev: Volcano snags Crux Biomedical for $36M. Story | Follow @FierceMedDev

@MarkHFierce: Sorin gained approval in Japan for a new heart valve--a huge win and market. Release | Follow @MarkHFierce

 @DamianFierce: And there's the biggest deal of the year in devices: Baxter says it's buying Gambro for $4 billion. News | Follow @DamianFierce

> Namal Nawan, president of Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) DePuy unit, has resigned from his post after just a year on the job. Story

> Covidien ($COV) has launched its AS Meniscal Repair Device, a sports surgery tech designed for minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery in the knee. News

> Iridex ($IRIX) has picked up 510(k) clearance for its TxCell Scanning Laser Delivery System, which is used in laser photocoagulation procedures to treat retinal disease. More

> BioVentrix has secured a CE mark for the Revivent Myocardial Anchoring System, a device aimed to treat congestive heart failure. Article

> Boston Scientific ($BSX) enrolled its first patient in a study involving its WallFlex Biliary RX covered self-expanding metal stent. The trial will be compared to plastic stents as a treatment for complications caused by chronic pancreatitis. Release

> The University of Minnesota will launch a $20 million seed venture fund open to university spin-offs, and a larger $50 million venture fund for national entrepreneurs, university president Eric Kaler disclosed at the Mid America Healthcare Venture Forum in Minneapolis. Story

> California's Vascular Closure Systems successfully completed a first-in-man study of its bioabsorbable closure device. Release

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: Synthetic compound halts Alzheimer's neurodegeneration in mice. More | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: If the court really does scrap off-label rules, I'm sure all the reps will carefully observe all proprieties, stay conservative (oh, yeah). | Follow @JohnCFierce

 @RyanMFierce: Nice analysis on pediatric drug dev. situation in U.S. from Bloomberg. Should industry cure kids first? News | Follow @RyanMFierce

> Big Pharma earns mixed grades on late-stage drug development report card. Story

> Flexion banks $20M VC round, shifts focus to late-stage osteoarthritis drugs. Article

> Geron axes dozens of staffers after careening into another trial flop. Report

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Off-label-promos are free speech, the 1st Circuit rules. NYT's take. Story | Follow @FiercePharma

> Should FDA usher old-style opioid generics onto the market? Article

> Pharma can't be prosecuted for off-label marketing, court rules. News

> Generics makers use familiar tactics to fight their own patent cliffs. Report

Pharma Manufacturing News

> NextPharma unloads U.S. manufacturing arm, Bioserv. Report

> Sandoz India development center loses in realignment. News

> Protein Sciences takes over fully equipped Wyeth vaccine plant. Story

> Neopharma to produce Merck Serono branded meds in Middle East. Article

Biotech Research News

> Synthetic compound halts Alzheimer's neurodegeneration in mice. More

> MGH/Harvard drug treats Huntington's in 2 mouse studies. Article

> Stem cells from blood may be more patient-friendly. Story

> Amgen antibody combats obesity, diabetes in monkeys. News