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March 4, 2005

Vol. 2 No. 45

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Pfizer to Acquire Biotech Firm Idun Pharmaceuticals

Pfizer has inked a deal to acquire Idun Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based biopharmaceutical firm that owns more than 150 patents covering drug targets, new chemical entities, drug-screening assays, diagnostics and antibodies.

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Biotech, Pharmaceutical Firms Get Record Venture Capital Funds

The healthcare industry, led by biotech and pharmaceutical companies, garnered a record share of the venture capital (VC) dollars last year, according to a recent report.

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CMS Study Projects a Slowdown in Drug Spending Over Next Decade

While drug usage is expected to increase after the Medicare prescription drug benefit starts in 2006, drug spending will continue its slowdown over the next decade partly because of lower drug prices, according to a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) study.

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Alpharma to Take Impairment Charge on U.S. Generics Business

Alpharma is preparing to take a goodwill impairment charge on its U.S. generics business -- a decision prompted largely by difficult business conditions in the generics market, the company said.

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Cipher Completes Sale of Pharmaceutical Research Services Business

Cipher Pharmaceuticals has completed the previously announced sale of its pharmaceutical research services business, Pharma Medica Research, to a group led by the current management team of Pharma Medica.

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Interpharm Holdings Announces Agreements With Tris Pharma

Interpharm Holdings has entered into two separate technology licensing and product development agreements with Tris Pharma, a specialty drug delivery technology company.

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GPC Biotech Buys Drug Discovery Company for $18 Million in Stock

GPC Biotech, which has its U.S. headquarters in Waltham, said it would buy the assets of Axxima Pharmaceuticals, a Munich, Germany-based drug discovery firm for about $18 million in stock.

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Alliance and LEO Modify Exclusivity Agreement

Alliance Pharmaceutical, through its wholly owned subsidiary PFC Therapeutics, and LEO Pharma A/S have agreed to amend the previously announced exclusivity agreement related to the development and marketing of Oxygent in Europe and Canada.

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Geron and Biotechnology Research Corporation Form Alliance

Geron Corporation and the Biotechnology Research Corporation of Hong Kong announced the formation of a new company, TA Therapeutics Limited (TAT), in Hong Kong.

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Abbott Ties Up With Inpeco to Expand Automation Capabilities

Abbott has entered into an agreement with Inpeco S.p.A. to expand its laboratory automation capabilities.

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Diffusion Announces Strategic Alliance to Develop New Cancer Therapies

Diffusion Pharmaceuticals LLC, a company that discovers and develops novel small-molecule therapeutics, has reached an agreement with the New Approaches to Brain Tumor Therapy CNS Consortium (NABTT) for a comprehensive clinical trials program to test Diffusion's lead drug candidate, trans sodium crocetinate (TSC), as a radiation sensitizer in the treatment of cancerous tumors.

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Aetna Specialty Pharmacy Opens Orlando Distribution Center

Aetna Specialty Pharmacy, the joint venture between Aetna and Lake Mary-based Priority Healthcare Corp., opened for business in its 63,000-square-foot specialty pharmacy distribution center on March 1.

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