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Celgene’s Otezla approved to treat plaque psoriasis

BY Ryan Chavis

SUMMIT, N.J. — Celgene Corp. earlier this week announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved Otezla (apremilast) for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. The drug is the first and only PDE4 inhibitor approved for the treatment of plaque psoriasis, according to the company. Otezla was approved on March 21, 2014 by the FDA for treatment of active psoriatic arthritis. 
 
“Otezla offers an important new treatment option for patients whose symptoms are not adequately improving with their current treatments. In clinical trials, Otezla reduced redness, thickness and scaliness of plaques in patients with moderate or severe plaque psoriasis,” said Dr. M. Shane Chapman, section chief of dermatology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. “Because the product labeling does not require routine laboratory monitoring, oral Otezla may be a welcome new option for patients and physicians looking for a different treatment experience.”
 
Otezla is available in the United States and is dispensed through a network of specialty pharmacies. 
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FDA approves new indication for Humira

BY Ryan Chavis

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. — AbbVie on Thursday announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved Humira (adalimumab) as a treatment for pediatric Crohn's disease patients ages 6 years and older when other treatments haven't worked well enough. The agency's approval marks the eighth indication for the drug in the United States.
 
"Moderate to severe Crohn's disease is a serious chronic disorder that can impact children and adolescents in significant ways during this important stage of their lives," said Jeffrey S. Hyams, M.D., head, division of digestive diseases, hepatology and nutrition, Connecticut Children's Medical Center. "The approval of Humira for this patient population offers a new important treatment option for physicians and their patients that can help address this sometimes debilitating disease."
 
Humira can be self-administered after proper injection training and with appropriate physician monitoring. 
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Thousands of runners participate in 25th annual CVS Health Downtown 5k

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — More than 7,000 people from around the region — and world — registered for the 25th annual CVS Health Downtown 5k held in Providence, R.I., on Sept. 21 — bringing together a mix of competitive runners, along with recreational runners, walkers and children.

In addition to hosting the USA Men's and USA Women's 5k National Championships, the CVS Health Downtown 5k offered races and inspirational events for individuals of all ages and abilities, and raised funds for charities throughout Southern New England.  


More than 4,500 people registered for the main 5k race while nearly 1,700 children registered for the event’s youth races, which included 21 different races for children — pre-kindergarten through eighth grade — including a CVS Health “All Kids Can” Inspirational event for children of all abilities. The athletic activities offered through the CVS Health Downtown 5k included a 3k High School Inspirational event, sponsored by Tufts Health Plan, which drew more than 1,000 high school students from the region.

Diego Estrada of Flagstaff, Ariz., became the men’s overall and national 5k champion with a time of 13:56.4. Estrada, who grew up in Salinas, Calif., and graduated from Northern Arizona University, competed in the 10k during the 2012 London Olympics. This is Estrada’s first national title.


The women’s overall and national 5k champion was Molly Huddle of Providence, R.I., with a time of 15:10.0, a personal record that also equals the course record set by Elana Meyer in 1995. Huddle defended her title from last year's race, making her a four-time winner of the CVS Health Downtown 5k, matching the four-time winning record of Olympian and CVS Health Downtown 5k inaugural race winner Lynn Jennings. Huddle is an Olympian (London Olympics) who grew up in Elmira, N.Y., and graduated from Notre Dame University where she was a record-breaking nine-time All American. 
Estrada and Huddle each won $8,000 in prize money: $5,000 for the USA Track & Field Championship and $3,000 for winning the CVS Health Downtown 5k Open Race.


Other top three 5k men's runners include German Fernandez, who placed second with a time of 13:57.0, and Maverick Darling who placed third with a time of 13:57.5. Fernandez, a California native, made his debut at the CVS Health Downtown 5k. He graduated from Oklahoma State University and trains in Portland, Ore. Darling grew up and trains in Ovid, Mich., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin.

Other top three 5k women's runners include Jorday Hasay, who placed second with a time of 15:25.0, and Emily Infeld who placed third with a time of 15:32.5. Hasay is part of the Nike Oregan Project, which is coached by Alberto Salazar, and competed in the 2013 Word Championship in Moscow, Russia. Hasay is a graduate of the University of Oregon and grew up in San Louis Obispo, Calif. Infeld had a spectacular return to this year’s race after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in her sacrum in November, which kept her on the sidelines for the early part of the year. Infeld trains in Portland, Ore., graduated from Georgetown University and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.


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