PHARMACY

Amneal names SVP, general counsel

BY Alaric DeArment

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Amneal Pharmaceuticals has named a drug industry attorney as SVP and general counsel, the generic drug maker said Thursday.

Amneal announced the appointment of Robert Loewenstein, who previously served as head of law firm Budd Larner, P.C.’s corporate generic pharmaceuticals practice.

Amneal said Loewenstein had represented generic drug companies in United States and international transactions for 20 years, including deals in the United Kingdom and South Africa, and had represented Amneal in virtually all of its business activities since 2005, including the company’s acquisitions of Akyma Pharmaceuticals, KVD Pharmaceuticals and Interpharm.

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Trial data of investigational lung cancer treatment said to extend survival by more than four months

BY Alaric DeArment

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — An investigational treatment for lung cancer made by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals extended patients’ survival by more than four months, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial announced Thursday.

BI said the phase 2b/3 “LUX-Lung 1” trial of BIBW 2992 (afatinib) showed a fourfold increase in survival among advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients taking the drug versus those taking placebo, whose survival was extended by one month.

The trial enrolled 585 patients whose disease had gotten worse after they received chemotherapy and Tarceva (erlotinib), made by Genentech and OSI Pharmaceuticals, or AstraZeneca’s Iressa (gefitinib).

Trial data will be presented at the Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology.

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Combining Lilly and Amylin drug with insulin intake found to promote weight loss

BY Alaric DeArment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Combining a diabetes drug marketed by Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals controls blood sugar and promotes weight loss more than insulin alone, according to a new study.

Researchers at sites in the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Greece and Israel recruited 261 patients with Type 2 diabetes taking daily injections of Sanofi-Aventis’ insulin analog Lantus (insulin glargine [rDNA origin]) and randomly assigned them to receive placebo or twice-daily injections of Lilly and Amylin’s Byetta (exenatide). Among the 138 taking Byetta, 60% achieved almost normal blood sugar levels and lost an average of 4 lbs., compared with those in the placebo group, who gained 2 lbs. on average and of whom 35% lowered their blood sugar to the same degree.

“This study may be the best result ever for patients whose diabetes is inadequately controlled on a combination of pills and insulin,” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School medical researcher and lead study author John Buse stated. “Until now, it was inconceivable that you could get such patients under excellent control with weight loss and no significant problems with hypoglycemia.”

The study appeared online in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine and will appear in the print edition on Jan. 18.

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