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R&D news in brief

Our weekly round up of R&D news in brief

Glaxo files European vaccine dossier
GlaxoSmithKline has become the first pharma company to present a preliminary dossier to the European Medicines Agency to market a potential vaccine against pandemic flu, under new rules.

Under the so-called `mock up' system, companies are allowed to start the approval process while they are still developing experimental vaccines.

Scientists fear that the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus, which has now spread to Turkey, could trigger a flu pandemic.

Roche and Amira sign deal
Swiss drug manufacturer Roche has entered into a research alliance with US firm Amira to find new compounds to treat inflammatory diseases.

In a deal that could be worth up to $287m for the San Diego-based biopharmaceutical firm, Roche said that it would pay the royalties if it decides to opt in to two of the three compounds which the agreement covers.

In a second part of the deal, Amira would get an option to license in two clinical stage compounds from Roche in return for equity, milestone payments and royalties.

Antidepressants do not increase suicide risk: study
Antidepressants do not increase the risk of suicide attempts by patients, according to a new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

A team from Seattle's Group Health Cooperative studied 65,000 people who were prescribed antidepressants by looking at their medical and pharmacy records between 1992 and 2003.

The study found the highest risk of a suicide attempt was in the month before antidepressants were given. The researchers claim the study is the first published analysis to compare the risk of suicide attempts before treatment with the risks following treatment.

30th September 2008

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