PHARMACY

Army’s Zika vaccine phase 1 trials prove successful

BY Michael Johnsen

Three phase 1 human clinical trials evaluating an Army-developed Zika purified inactivated virus, or ZPIV vaccine have shown it was safe and well-tolerated in healthy adults, and induced a robust immune response. Initial findings from the trials were published Tuesday in The Lancet.

Each of the three studies included in the paper was designed to address a unique question about background immunity, vaccine dose or vaccination schedule. A fourth trial with ZPIV is still underway in Puerto Rico, where the population has natural exposure to other viruses in the same family as Zika, or flaviviruses, such as dengue.

"It is imperative to develop a vaccine that prevents severe birth defects and other neurologic complications in babies caused by Zika virus infection during pregnancy," said Kayvon Modjarrad, director for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the Zika program co-lead and the article's lead author. "These results give us hope that a safe and effective vaccine will be achievable."

Across the three trials, more than 90% of volunteers who received the vaccine developed an immune response against Zika.

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Health expert Jennifer Caudle joins Rite Aid in promoting flu shot availability

BY Michael Johnsen

In an effort to encourage people to get a flu shot this season, Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite Aid is teaming with Dr. Jennifer Caudle, a nationally renowned health expert and practicing family physician, during National Influenza Vaccination Week.

“Vaccination is the single best way to protect yourself against the flu,” Caudle said. “Rite Aid pharmacists undergo special training and are professionally certified to administer immunizations, and with thousands of locations across the country, Rite Aid pharmacies are a convenient and professional setting for flu shots. That’s why I’m partnering with Rite Aid and reminding people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Caudle and Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacist Chris Altman will host a special flu-focused Facebook Live event on Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. ET to answer questions about the flu, address common misconceptions and provide helpful tips on how to stay healthy throughout flu season.

“Our pharmacists are on the frontlines of healthcare in the communities they serve, and when it comes to fighting the flu, as certified immunizers, they can be a patient’s first line of defense,” stated Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy. “And because flu activity typically peaks between December and March according to the CDC, National Influenza Vaccination Week is the perfect time to remind people there’s still time to get vaccinated and protect themselves as well as their family this flu season.”

Seasonal flu shots are available at Rite Aid locations across the country. This year, Rite Aid is offering three types of flu vaccines: a quadrivalent flu vaccine which offers protection against four strains of the flu; the standard trivalent vaccine; and FLUAD, a trivalent vaccine with adjuvant, an ingredient that helps create a stronger immune response to vaccination, which is approved for people 65 years old and older.

 

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Amneal launches Clolar generic

BY David Salazar

Amneal’s biosciences arm recently introduced its generic of Clolar (clofarabine, 1mg/ml). The Bridgewater, N.J.-based company will be shipping the product in a single-dose vial containing 20 mg of the active ingredient in 20 ml of clear sterile solution.

“We are pleased to expand our product portfolio with clofarabine,” Amneal Biosciences president Charles Lucarelli said. “It’s an important addition to our growing oncology line.”

The product had $53 million in sales for the 12 months ended September 2017, according to data from IQVIA.

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