Gilead finds that investigational hypertension drug reduces blood pressure in patients
SAN FRANCISCO An investigational drug reduces blood pressure in patients with resistant hypertension, results of a phase 3 clinical trial presented Friday at the American Society of Hypertension’s annual scientific meeting in San Francisco showed.
Gilead Sciences announced the presentation of data from DAR-311, a phase 3 trial of the drug darusentan. The drug, an endothelin receptor agonist, is designed as a once-daily treatment for use as part of a three-drug regimen that includes a diuretic.
“Because of the increased risk of a number of life-threatening cardiovascular conditions associated with failure to control blood pressure, including stroke and heart attack, it is essential that new therapeutic approaches be evaluated for treatment of resistant hypertension,” stated lead study author and professor of medicine at the State University of New York Downstate Medical College of Medicine. “These data are important because they showed meaningful reductions in blood pressure when darusentan was added to existing antihypertensive regimens in a very difficult-to-treat patient population.”
Study: Vaccine Cervarix may generate higher response than Gardasil
MALMO, Sweden Data from a comparative trial of two vaccines for human papillomavirus indicate that GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix may generate a higher immune response than Merck & Co.’s Gardasil.
The study, presented at the International Papillomavirus Conference in Malmo, Sweden, examined two measures of immune response, neutralizing antibodies and memory B cells, which are believed to be important in protecting women from HPV infection. The study found that among women aged 18 to 45, neutralizing antibody levels for Cervarix were more than twice as high as those for Gardasil for HPV type 16 and more than six times higher for HPV type 18. Cervarix also produced almost three times more memory B cells for types 16 and 18.
“The presence of neutralizing antibodies at the location of the infection appears to be an important part of vaccine-induced protection against HPV,” GSK Biologicals chief medical officer and head of global clinical research and development Thomas Breuer said in a statement. “This study offers the first evidence that these two vaccines do not generate the same immune response against HPV types 16 and 18, the two most common cancer-causing virus types.”
Walgreens wraps up Drug Fair deal
DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens announced late Friday afternoon that it has completed the acquisition of 31 Drug Fair stores in central and western New Jersey. In March, Walgreens agreed to buy the stores in the wake of Drug Fair’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Walgreens expects to have completed store conversions “over the next few weeks,” according to a statement, including extensive remerchandising, refreshed graphics package, new signage and displays, and a shift to the Walgreens product mix and assortment, including private label. Store hours will not be affected during the transition period, the company stated. More importantly, the store makeovers will also include conversion to Walgreens’ pharmacy system, tying it into the other 6,700-plus stores in the chain, and the ability to offer pharmacist counseling and prescription labels in 14 languages.
“This will be a seamless transition for our new customers,” said Walgreens market VP Tim Anhorn. “In fact, many of the familiar faces they know and trust will continue to work at these locations. These stores will carry on the tradition of service that Drug Fair has built over more than 50 years in this region.”
In addition to the 31 Drug Fair stores it will continue to operate, Walgreens also has purchased the prescription files two other stores, one in Clifton and another in Morris Plains, N.J., which Walgreens plans to move to stores it already operates in those areas. The company said it also expects to complete transactions for two additional Drug Fair locations in the coming weeks.
With total sales of more than $340 million, including $170 million of it coming from prescription drug sales, Drug Store News had ranked Drug Fair no. 48 on its annual listing of the top 50 pharmacy retailers in America for 2008 (The Drug Store News PoweRx50 2008).