PHARMACY

Daiichi Sankyo, ArQule team to conduct cancer treatment research

BY Alaric DeArment

WOBURN, Mass. A Woburn, Mass.-based company has entered into an agreement with Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo to develop drugs to treat cancer.

ArQule will receive $75 million in cash upfront from Daiichi. The two companies will develop ARQ 197, an orally administered, small-molecule inhibitor of the c-Met receptor tyrosine kinase.

“We are delighted to welcome Daiichi Sankyo as a partner in our shared quest to bring innovative cancer therapeutics to patients and their physicians,” ArQule chief executive officer Paolo Pucci said in a statement. “With this announcement, we complete the ARQ 197 partnership process and set the stage to bring the ARQ 197 development program to the next level.”

Daiichi recently acquired Indian generic drug maker Ranbaxy.

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Jewel-Osco extends Prescription Plus offerings for more customers to get flu shots

BY Alaric DeArment

ITASCA, Ill. A retail pharmacy chain is reminding patients to use their prescription medications properly and get vaccinated despite the difficult economy.

Jewel-Osco Pharmacy will extend its Prescription Plus Rewards Programs through Jan. 31, allowing frequent pharmacy customers to save money on groceries. The program offers customers a 10 percent discount coupon for every five prescriptions they fill at the pharmacy using a discount card.

“As pharmacists, our foremost concern is helping our patients comply with their prescribed medication therapies,” Jewel-Osco vice president for pharmacy operations Tom Rousonelos said. “We’re extending the length of Prescription Plus in response to a real need our pharmacy customers tell us they have for the continuous opportunities to reduce their grocery bills through this program.”

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FDA approves Aurobindo’s generic version of Zoloft

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Aurobindo’s application for sertraline hydrochloride oral concentrate, FDA records show.

The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s antidepressant Zoloft. Roxane and Ranbaxy also offer generic versions.

The FDA approved sertraline hydrochloride tablets from Aurobindo in February 2007. The oral concentrate formulation received approval on Oct. 31.

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