PHARMACY

FDA grants orphan drug status to tesetaxel cancer drug

BY Alaric DeArment

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has given orphan drug designation to tesetaxel, a new cancer drug by Genta.

Genta said it considered the drug, an oral drug for treating gastric cancer, the leading member in clinical development of the class known as taxanes.

In a phase 2 study, 35 patients with advanced gastric cancer who had received prior treatment achieved partial response or disease stability after receiving tesetaxel.

“These response data for tesetaxel in a critically ill patient population show clinical activity at levels that are at least comparable to studies with other taxanes,” Genta CEO Raymond Warrell said in a statement. “Based on these data, we have consulted extensively with international experts and will be defining a global registration path for tesetaxel as a second-line treatment for patients with advanced gastric cancer.”

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Researchers test administering medication using nanotechnology, gold

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Researchers have developed a way to use tiny particles of gold to control the administration of drugs for diseases such as cancer, according to a study published in the journal ACS Nano.

The researchers, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, created a device that shines infrared light on particles of gold coated with medicine.

The particles vary in size, causing them to melt at different rates depending on the intensity of the light.

The researchers said the device would allow medicine to target specific areas of the body at specific rates, thus minimizing damage to healthy tissue.

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N.J. tests new law requiring vaccinations for school-age children

BY Alaric DeArment

TRENTON, N.J. New Jersey will find out this week if its new law requiring flu vaccinations for schoolchildren has worked, according to published reports.

The state is the first in the country to require schoolchildren to receive flu vaccinations, between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. It required the children to receive the vaccinations by Dec. 31. Children who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed to attend school.

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