PHARMACY

ECHO releases new report presenting overview of diabetes in Alabama

BY Drew Buono

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. The Employers Coalition for Healthcare Options released a new report on the prevalence, cost and quality of care for Type 2 diabetes. The first annual Alabama Type 2 Diabetes Report for 2007 presents an overview of patient demographics, hospitals and professional charges, utilization of clinical services and drug therapy for people with Type 2 diabetes in Birmingham, Huntsville, Florence and Mobile, which are the areas in the state with the most people at risk or who suffer type 2 diabetes. The report is aimed at providing information to employers to help offer the best treatment for diabetes to its employees.

Percentage of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is much higher among Alabama’s working age adults. Working adults between the age of 18-64 in 2006 comprised more than 60.4 percent of diagnosed diabetic patients in Alabama, compared to the nation, which had 54.2 percent of diabetic patients. In addition, Alabama has a higher level of female patients than the national average with 62.5 percent versus 54.9 percent for the female population of the rest of the nation.

“ECHO is committed to improving the health and wellness of our member employees. This report provides benchmark information that enhances our ability to analyze our experience. It can also be used for developing and supporting multi-stakeholder efforts to support people with diabetes across the state,” said Karen Hill, president/chief executive officer of ECHO.

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BioSante makes milestone payment of $875,000 to Antrares for Elestrin

BY Drew Buono

EWING, N.J. Antares Pharma has received an additional payment of $875,000 from BioSante Pharmaceuticals in relation to a marketing agreement with Bradley Pharmaceuticals for the drug Elestrin.

Elestrin is a low dose transdermal estradiol therapy that is used for the treatment of hot flashes in menopausal women. Antares allowed BioSante to use its advanced transdermal delivery gel system for the drug. Additional sales based milestone payments could bring the deals total value to more than $13 million, not including royalties based on third party sales.

“We look forward to continued marketing progress with Elestrin in 2008. The December 2006 FDA approval of this product has validated our ATD gel system and that has been a significant milestone for Antares and our potential pipeline products including Anturol—our proprietary ATD gel based overactive bladder product—currently in pivotal trials,” said Jack Stover, president and chief executive officer of Antares Pharma.

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GSK, Santaris ink deal worth a potential $700 million

BY Drew Buono

LONDON GlaxoSmithKline has signed a deal with the biotech company Santaris Pharma to develop new antiviral medicine, in a deal that could be worth more than $700 million, according to Reuters. The deal involves drug candidates discovered and developed under the agreement in up to four different viral disease programs.

As part of the deal, Santaris will receive an upfront payment of $3 million for the first antiviral program and an equity investment of $5 million. The deal could be worth more than $700 million based on upfront payments and development and regulatory milestone payments, depending on the success on early-stage research in RNA antagonist compounds.

Santaris will also get high single- to double-digit percentage royalties on worldwide sales of marketed products. GSK will have the option to develop drug candidates in up to four different viral disease programs. It also has an option to include as an additional program Santaris’ pre-clinical hepatitis C compound SPC3649.

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