Merck's Tredaptive pulled after failed study; Medtronic snags infusion pump patent;

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> Merck ($MRK) pulled its cholesterol drug Tredaptive (extended-release niacin and laropiprant combination) from the market after failures in the HPS2-THRIVE (Heart Protection Study 2-Treatment of HDL to Reduce the Incidence of Vascular Events) study. Story

> Molecular handshake could lead to new ways to deliver insulin. Article

> Medtronic ($MDT) acquired a patent for an infusion pump combined with a cardiovascular agent designed for delivery into the central nervous system to improve cardiac performance. Release

> Catalent Pharma Solutions is set to invest $20 million to upgrade its Inhalation Center of Excellence in Research Triangle Park, NC, to expand its development of inhaled drugs. Release

> Researchers at China's Fudan University have developed a method for increasing the stability and absorption of siRNA (small interfering RNA) by encapsulating it using nanoparticles. Release

> The FDA said it would require lower controlled-release doses of popular sleep medications containing zolpidem after data showed that people--women, in particular--who took the drugs in the evening exhibited impaired driving in the morning. Release

> Public-private consortium COMPACT and researchers and educators in the U.K.'s Innovative Medicines Initiative and University of Oxford have launched a €30 million project to further the field of biopharmaceutical drug delivery. Article

> GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and Theravance ($THRX) have submitted an application in Europe and the U.S. for the once-daily UMEC/VI for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Release

> Pluristem Therapeutics ($PSTI) gained approval from the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute in Germany for a Phase II study using PLX-PAD cells in patients with intermittent claudication. Release