J&J settles four vaginal mesh suits; St. Jude exec to run for Congress;

@FierceMedDev: Sequenom strikes a deal with Cypher Genomics to develop advanced noninvasive prenatal test. FierceDiagnostics story | Follow @FierceMedDev

@EmilyWFierce: IYCMI yesterday: Medtronic and Covidien to close $43B merger today with Irish High Court approval. Article | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) reaches a settlement in four lawsuits over its vaginal mesh. Story

> The FDA has named Dr. Robert Califf as the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco. That position heads up the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health and the Center for Tobacco Products. Califf is currently vice chancellor of clinical and translational research at Duke University. He will join the FDA in late February. Release | More from FierceBiotech

> St. Jude Medical ($STJ) VP Angie Craig is stepping down to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives against Republican Rep. John Kline in the Second Congressional District. Story

> The FDA has cleared a suction cervical retractor from Bioceptive that's intended to replace the standard cervical tenaculum forceps used to pierce and clamp cervical tissue in order to stabilize the cervix and uterus. Release

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: The Special K connection: Naurex spotlights another promising NMDA depression drug. Report | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: I see R&D costs climbed to $7.1B at $PFE last year. Probably same again in '15. Citing Phase III costs. Release | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: Per earnings statement, $NVS finally submitted the COPD combo QVA149 + NVA237 to the FDA late last year. Release | Follow @DamianFierce

> Google, Biogen team up on MS research: report. Item

> Obama wants to pour $1.2B into antibiotic R&D. Report

> Singapore's MerLion eyes partner for Phase III of Finafloxacin urinary infection trials. Article

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Supreme Court pitches patent fight over $SHPG's Lialda after $TEVA ruling. Report | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: ICYMI from FiercePharmaManufacturing: Actavis explains the recall of generic Neurontin was limited to 2,000 bottles shipped to one customer. Story | Follow @EricPFierce

> With generic losses on the horizon, Pfizer puts up a stormy 2015 forecast. Report

> U.S., India make incremental IP headway during Obama visit. Story

> Pharmaceuticals and biotech a backdrop to China-Taiwan economic talks. Article

Biotech Research News

> UCSD team turns the PKC tumor theory upside down. Item

> Psoriasis researchers identify a lineup of suspect proteins behind disease progression. More

> International team tags a key brain pathway for hypoglycemia. Report

> Stanford scientists use modified RNA to rejuvenate aging cells. Story

> Alzheimer's investigators at Gladstone find a drug target for guarding memories. Article

Pharma Manufacturing News

> BASF invests $63M in PVP manufacturing operations. More

> Novo will soon open plant in Russia. Article

> Hospira recalls more saline after human hair found in a bag. Report

> FDA slaps down another Indian plant, adding to the industry's woes. Story

> Australia's TGA issues updated guidelines on drug supply chain releases. Item

Suggested Articles

The FDA has cleared its first fully disposable duodenoscope, following years of reports of infections being transmitted between patients.

OR-focused AI provider Caresyntax has garnered $45.6 million in new funding and picked up a data analytics firm to broaden its footprint.

A study of Foundation Medicine’s FoundationOne liquid biopsy test found it was able to predict the risk that a person’s breast cancer would return.