Amgen to introduce six new cancer drugs
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. Next week, Amgen will provide preliminary drug data on six new cancer drugs that it is developing, according to Bloomberg. The presentation will be made at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting.
The medicines are designed to attack tumors through three of the most popular approaches in cancer research today. One drug, called AMG-386, cuts off blood flow to tumors like Genentech’s Avastin, which had $2.3 billion in U.S. sales last year. The Amgen treatment is designed to block more proteins that lead to blood vessel formation than Avastin does alone.
Another experimental drug, AMG-655, provokes cancer cells to destroy themselves. A third treatment, AMG-479, blocks a chemical signal that allows tumor cells to grow uncontrollably.
The six drug candidates, five of which were generated internally, are being tested in more than 30 clinical trials under way or planned, Amgen said.
The market for cancer drugs has doubled in the past four years, and will be worth $67 billion worldwide in 2012, according to research firm Decision Resources.
Accuracy at institutional pharmacies is focus of new Cardinal/TCGRx pact
DUBLIN, Ohio Drug distribution and health services giant Cardinal Health has forged a three-year pact with TCGRx, a firm specializing in automation and bar-code-driven inventory tracking, to boost efficiencies and dispensing accuracy among its long-term-care pharmacy customers.
TCGRx offers automated pharmaceutical storage and dispensing systems, including automated oral solid packaging as well as shelving and drawer systems that store, count and package pharmaceuticals into patient-specific doses and pre-packaged formats. The systems can reduce storage space by up to 50 percent, according to Cardinal. They can also make it easier for operators of long-term-care pharmacies to manage inventory, applying sophisticated tracking and reporting that allow for streamlined ordering when inventory levels reach pre-defined levels.
“The systems will help improve patient safety through more accurate dispensing and patient-specific packaging that is easier to read and administer,” said Law Burks, vice president of marketing management for Cardinal’s healthcare supply chain services-pharmaceuticals division. The result, he said, would be improved patient compliance with drug therapy.
Maryland grants $62 million for expansion of university Pharmacy Hall
BALTIMORE, Md. Governor Martin O’Malley along with the state legislature of Maryland, has granted $62 million for the addition to Pharmacy Hall in the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, according to published reports.
The students and faculty of University of Maryland School of Pharmacy have been rallying for government support of the decade-long plan since Feb. 14, demanding that there would be an accommodation to the increased enrollment of an extra 120 students. Since there has been a shortage of pharmacists in America, the university has been calling for more room to accommodate its students, and to allow more students interested in pharmacy to enroll.
David J. Ramsay, DM, DPhil, president of the University of Maryland said of the funding, “In securing more than $62 million for the construction of the Pharmacy Hall addition, Gov. Martin O’Malley and the Maryland General Assembly have recognized the need to educate more pharmacists, carry out more cutting-edge research and deepen our commitment to serve the community. We are thankful for their leadership and their vision in helping us move forward with this desperately needed expansion.”
According to published reports, the building will be 92,635-square-feet, and seven stories high. It will include lecture halls with wiring for computers and distance-learning technology. The university also will build a patient interaction laboratory, which would be dedicated to research and the testing of new drugs.
The addition, slated to open for students in the fall of 2010, also will include such environmentally friendly features as energy-efficient lights and heat recovery air landing systems.