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Best of the Blogs, Biotech: AstraZeneca Remains Restless After Bristol-Myers Deal


Plus, Glaxo encouraged celebrity doctor to advertise off-label applications.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL This column highlights the most interesting and useful biotech news from around the Web every Thursday.

Link: AstraZeneca's R&D Chief Vows to Keep 'Pedal to the Metal'
"AstraZeneca's (AZN) decision to expand its diabetes partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) in the wake of the $5.3 billion Amylin buyout is the biggest new deal in a string of drug pacts completed this year. But don't expect the pharma giant to back away from the deal table anytime soon.

"'When deals come up we want to be at the table,' says Martin Mackay, who stepped in as R&D chief at AstraZeneca two years ago, in an interview with FierceBiotech. 'We want to be players.'"

The Wall Street Journal: Health
Link: 'Dr. Drew' Was Paid by Glaxo
"In June 1999, popular radio personality Dr. Drew Pinsky used the airwaves to extol the virtues of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) PLC's antidepressant Wellbutrin, telling listeners he prescribes it and other medications to depressed patients because it 'may enhance or at least not suppress sexual arousal' as much as other antidepressants do.

"But one thing listeners didn't know was that, two months before the program aired, Dr. Pinsky-who gained fame as 'Dr. Drew' during years co-hosting a popular radio sex-advice show 'Loveline'-received the second of two payments from Glaxo totaling $275,000 for 'services for Wellbutrin.'"

Link: Sanofi To Cut Up To 2,000 Jobs In France
"The next shoe may be dropping at Sanofi (SNY). The drugmaker may cut up 2,000 jobs in France as part of a plan announced last September to eliminate $2.9 billion in expenses in order to cope with patent expirations on big-selling medicines, notably the Plavix bloodthinner and Avapro high blood pressure treatment. The latest jobs cuts would come from R&D, manufacturing in the Sanofi-Pasteur vaccine division and support functions at headquarters, Le Figaro reports."

Seeking Alpha
Link: 10 Verifiable Reasons Why Antares Is An Excellent Investment
"This is a lengthy article because I think it's necessary to build the case for why Antares (ATRS) is an excellent investment. Because it's one thing to write that; it's another thing to prove it. Is there possible downside for Antares? Of course, but as I will demonstrate that downside has been mitigated by a variety of ten factors. Right now, I think the greatest risk to Antares investors is the overall market and Vibex MTX (Antares's methotrexate auto-injector) will need to be approved by the FDA -- but that too appears likely."

Yahoo! Finance
Link: Obagi: Over-Hyped Aquisition Target Or Worthy Investment?
"There has been abundant buzz on a company whose shares have been rising steadily since February. Obagi Medical Products (OMPI) saw shares hit $16.03 last week as speculators took positions ahead of the latest round of buy-out chatter.

"I was first alerted some months ago to this company as a potential buyout candidate and informed by sources that larger companies and pharmas were interested in acquiring the company. Lately, speculation of a buyout has become stronger based on the poison pill being voted down by shareholders by over a 2 to 1 margin at the recent annual shareholders meeting."
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