PHARMACY

FDA approves non-invasive test for breast cancer

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW HAVEN, Conn. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Ikonisys’ oncoFISH her2 test, an automated microscopy application for determining HER2 status in human breast cancer specimens processed with Abbott Labs’ PathVysion HER2 DNA Probe Kit, which runs on the company’s CellOptics platform.

“The commercial availability of our oncoFISH her2 breast cancer test is a significant step forward for us,” Ikonisys chairman and chief executive Petros Tsipouras said in a statement. “With this test, laboratories and hospitals will have an economical and accurate method for automating their FISH testing of HER2 breast cancer.”

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women in the United States, and the presence of the HER2 gene amplification indicates whether a breast cancer patient is a candidate for treatment with Herceptin (trastuzumab).

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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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