PHARMACY

Clinical Data to acquire Avalon for around $10 million

BY Alaric DeArment

GERMANTOWN, Md. A biotech based in Newton, Mass., will buy a Germantown, Md.-based biotech whose stock price has lost 90 percent of its value since the beginning of the summer.

Clinical Data announced Tuesday that it would acquire Avalon Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth $10 million. The combined company will have an expanded cancer drug business and pipeline.

“The acquisition of Avalon is aligned with our core strategy of identifying proprietary biomarkers that correlate with safety and efficacy in the development of targeted therapeutics and genetic tests used to diagnose disease and guide treatment decisions,”? Clinical Data president and chief executive officer Drew Fromkin said in a statement. “Avalon’s comprehensive biomarket discovery platform, validated by partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies, extensive library of biomarkers and compounds and oncology expertise add to our growing estate of proprietary oncology biomarkers and in-depth knowledge of biomarker and pharmacogenetic test development.”

Avalon’s stock was worth more than $1 dollar a share the beginning of the summer, but closed at 8 cents a share Monday.

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PHARMACY

Medimetriks announces agreement to market treatments for impetigo

BY Alaric DeArment

FAIRFIELD, N.J. Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals has entered into a licensing agreement with Perrigo for U.S. Marketing rights to Centany Ointment and two prescription keratolytic brands, Medimetriks announced Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson’s OrthoNeutrogena professional division previously marketed Centany, which is used for treating impetigo caused by Straphylococcus aureas and Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration approved it in 2002.

The two keratolytic brands are urea-based therapies for treating severe dry skin.

“We are happy to have a partner that brings such a record of success in the branded pharmaceutical business,” Perrigo executive vice president Sharon Kochan said in a statement. “We believe the licensed products are in good hands, given Medimetriks management’s proven abilities in building a successful business in the dermatology and podiatry markets.”

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Few healthcare providers receive adequate training, tools to help patients quit smoking

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A new study suggests that few healthcare workers have sufficient training in smoking cessation to help patients quit.

The study, presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Philadelphia, found that 87 to 93 percent of healthcare providers receive less than five hours of smoking cessation training, while less than 6 percent know the governmental Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s guidelines for treating people with tobacco dependence.

The study surveyed 600 people working in health care, including physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, social workers and students, and divided them into prescribers and non-prescribers.

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