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FDA surpassed previous record, approved 21 new orphan drugs in 2015

BY David Salazar

The Food and Drug Administration in 2015 approved 21 new orphan drugs for rare diseases, the organization announced recently. This group of drugs made up 47% of all approvals in 2015, making it the year that the most orphan drugs were approved in FDA history. 
 
For the National Organization for Rare Disorders, a nonprofit representing patients and families affected by rare diseases, the record number of approvals is evidence of progress in treatment options. 
 
“The remarkable number of orphan drugs approved by FDA in 2015 underscores the progress we are making in identifying and studying new therapies, the willingness of the investment community to invest in orphan drugs, and the continued flexibility shown by the FDA in reviewing applications that often include small studies due to the small number of patients with the disease,” NORD president and CEO Peter Saltonstall said. “At the same time, we must recognize that our patient community faces new challenges in accessing many new therapies, and that the vast majority of the 7,000 identified rare diseases still have no treatment options. … We look forward to still more approvals in 2016 and beyond.”
 
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Beanitos rolls out gluten-free, preservative free Hint of Lime bean chips

BY Barbara White-Sax

AUSTIN, Texas — Beanitos, creator of the Original Bean Snacks, recently expanded its signature line of bean chips to include a new Hint of Lime variety. Made from a proprietary blend of U.S.-farmed whole navy beans and non-GMO ingredients, including sea salt and natural seasoning, the better-for-you chips offer 6g of fiber and 4g of protein in every serving. The new chips also are low-glycemic and gluten-free, and contain no preservatives and no artificial flavors or colors.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

Beanitos Hint of Lime joins the company’s full line of bean chips, including Original Black Bean, Chipotle BBQ, Nacho Cheese, Restaurant Style, Simply Pinto Bean and Better Cheddar, as well as its savory assortment of baked Bean Puffs. Suggested retail is $3.49 for a 6-oz. bag.

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Organic Valley Grassmilk Yogurt makes healthy natural

BY Barbara White-Sax

LA FARGE, Wis. — This fall, Organic Valley, the nation’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and a leading organic brand, launched Organic Valley Grassmilk Yogurt. Offered in plain and vanilla flavors, the yogurt is made from organic whole milk produced by 100% grass-fed milk cows that eat no grains, only fresh green pasture and dried forages. Organic Valley Vanilla Grassmilk Yogurt is flavored with organic, fair-trade vanilla and lightly sweetened with unrefined organic cane sugar; carries the USDA Organic seal; and is produced without antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides or GMOs.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

The yogurt has higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3, and a more healthful ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids than other milks. The new yogurt has a suggested retail price of $5.29 per 24-oz. tub.

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