PHARMACY

FDA approves Glenmark’s generic Lotrisone

BY DSN STAFF

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ generic of Lotrisone (betamethasone dipropionate) cream, the company announced Monday. 
 
The cream is indicated to treat such fungal infections as athlete’s foot and ringworm, among others. U.S. sales for the drug in the 12 months ending in September were $82.4 million. 
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AstraZeneca to acquire biotech company ZS Pharma

BY David Salazar

LONDON — In a move that will grow its portfolio of treatments for cardiovascular, metabolic and chronic kidney diseases, AstraZeneca announced that it would be acquiring Californian biotech company ZS Pharma to the tune of $2.7 billion.
 
Based on the company’s presentation accompanying a conference call on the acquisition, AstraZeneca’s focus to be on the treatment ZS Pharma is developing for hyperkalemia, or too much potassium, a side effect of chronic kidney disease, which affects more than 3 million patients in the U.S. The company’s most promising treatment, ZS-9, has completed Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials and is currently undergoing more trials. 
 
The acquisition is expected to close this year, the company said, and will result in ZS Pharma becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca.  
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J&J to acquire Novira Therapeutics

BY David Salazar

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson and Johnson is looking to grow its pharmaceutical arm’s specialty portfolio, announcing this week the acquisition of Novira Therapeutics. Novira focuses on development of chronic hepatitis B treatment, and the acquisition includes the company’s novel antivirals, among them its lead candidate NVR 3-778.
 
We are excited about the prospect this acquisition offers to accelerate the development of curative treatments for people affected by chronic hepatitis B,” said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Research & Development, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. “NVR 3-778 offers the potential for efficient suppression of virus production and replication, which could help address the remaining unmet medical needs.”
 
The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015. Financial terms have not been disclosed. 
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