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Pfizer Hearts Biologic Drugs

Pfizer has acquired the worldwide rights to sell insulin and insulin analogs being developed by Indian biotech company Biocon, in an attempt to work its way into the generic biotech drug market, says the New York Times' Andrew Pollack in the Prescriptions blog. Pfizer will pay Biocon $200 million initially, and then another $150 million, while Biocon manufactures the insulin. Other pharma companies are also getting into the biologic market, Pollack says. Merck, for example, has a business unit dedicated to biosimilars. And the health care reform law requires FDA to develop a system to approve such biotech generics, Pollack adds. The agency is holding a meeting in November to seek input on how to set up such a system.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.