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Pharma Roundup: Sanofi in China, Wyeth and Fen-Phen, Chantix Problems, and More

Sanofi-Aventis boosts China R&D -- The French firm is expanding its program in Shanghai, adding new research directions (including cancer and diabetes) and a new biometrics facility. The work comes through a partnership with the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences. [Source: FierceBiotech]

Wyeth still paying for Fen-Phen -- A New Jersey court awarded $3 million to a former user of the notorious diet drug, claiming it gave her lung problems. The obesity treatment was withdrawn from the market 11 years ago. [Source: Pharmalot]

Chantix and the 1,001 "serious injuries" -- The smoking cessation treatment, which may cause suicidal thoughts and other psychiatric side effects, was connected to more safety incidents than any other drug in the first quarter of the year, according to a report prepared by the nonprofit Institute for Safe Medication Practices. One must assume Chantix is causing few happy thoughts at Pfizer right now. [Source: WSJ Health Blog]

One in four biotech drugs get safety warnings -- As reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a quarter of biologics are singled out for side effects during their first ten years on the market. The data come from the Dutch Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences. [Source: Bloomberg]

In case you didn't hear -- Merck is slashing its workforce, with 7200 employees facing layoffs.

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