PHARMACY

Amylin launches SymlinPen for Type 2 diabetes

BY Drew Buono

SAN DIEGO Amylin Pharmaceuticals has released its new prescription device, the SymlinPen 120 and 60 pen-injector devices for administering the blood sugar controlling drug Symlin. The new devices feature simple, fixed dosing to improve mealtime glucose control.

The SymlinPen 120 features fixed dosing to deliver 60 or 120 micrograms of Symlin per dose. The SymlinPen 60 features fixed dosing to deliver 15, 30, 45, or 60 micrograms of Symlin per dose. Both pen-injector devices can be conveniently stored at room temperature not to exceed 86 degrees F after first use.

“Symlin offers enhanced blood glucose control with potential weight loss for patients with diabetes using mealtime insulin, enabling them to do more to manage their diabetes,” said Daniel M. Bradbury, president and chief executive officer, Amylin Pharmaceuticals. “The convenience of the new SymlinPen with simple, fixed dosing will make it easier for these patients using multiple daily injections to start and stay with Symlin.”

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Gardasil vaccine recipients report extreme pain, fainting

BY Drew Buono

MELBOURNE CITY, Australia New reports have shown that the Gardasil vaccine, which is given in three doses to females between the ages of 9 and 26 to prevent against a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical and vaginal cancer, has been causing extreme pain and also has made girls faints, according to reports from Australia.

Officials at Merck, which makes the vaccine, attributes it partly to the virus-like particles in the shot. Studies showed more reports of pain from Gardasil than from placebo shots, and patients reported more pain when given shots with more of the particles. While many say the pain is short-lived, some say driving or sleeping on the injected arm is uncomfortable for up to a day after.

U.S. health officials have noticed a rise in reports of vaccine-associated fainting in girls. From 2002-04 there were about 50 reports of fainting; from 2005 until last July, there were about 230. About 180 of those cases followed a shot of Gardasil, which came on to the market in 2006.

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Pfizer, Taisho announce partnership to develop schizophrenia treatment

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK & TOKYO Pfizer and Taisho Pharmaceuticals have signed a definitive agreement to replace their letter of intent for the worldwide (excluding Japan) collaboration to research, develop and commercialize TS-032, a drug candidate for schizophrenia, as well as other central nervous system disorders that is currently in preclinical development.

Under the agreement, Taisho will receive an initial payment of $22 million from Pfizer. The company will also receive milestone payments related to progress of development, as well as royalties and milestone payments tied to sales if TS-032 is approved by regulatory authorities and launched.

“We are pleased to partner with Taisho in this important area of research. Schizophrenia is among the most chronic and disabling of mental health conditions and there still remains a significant need for novel treatment advances with improved efficacy and fewer side effects,” said Martin Mackay, president of Pfizer Global Research and Development. “Pfizer has a long-standing strength in developing and commercializing medications for the treatment of psychiatric illnesses, including Zoloft, Xanax and Geodon. This agreement highlights our commitment to pursue opportunities that align strategically with our key development priorities and strengthen our pipeline.”

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