GSK, Cypress reach agreement on Zantac
MADISON, Miss. Glaxo Group Limited and Cypress Pharmaceuticals have reached a settlement regarding their patent litigation concerning the drug Zantac.
Cypress was trying to launch a generic version of the drug, rantidine, which is used to treat ulcers in the stomach and intestines and prevent them from returning. It is also used to treat and prevent stomach and throat problems caused by too much stomach acid.
Under the terms of the settlement, Glaxo will not claim its patent against Cypress’ generic version. This will result in the dismissal of the case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Cypress expects to launch the drug immediately following approval from the Food and Drug Administration. According to IMS Health, brand sales of Zantac syrup were about $121 million for the 12 months that ended in December 2006.
Harvard program seeks to discourage doctors from prescribing pediatric antibiotics
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. A program was conducted at the Harvard Medical School in an effort to change doctors’ prescribing habits for antibiotics and to educate parents of small children about the proper use of antibiotics, according to Reuters.
The program was initiated because of the emergence of microbes that are resistant to antibiotics because doctors prescribed the medications when they weren’t really needed.
Harvard Medical School’s Jonathan Finkelstein and colleagues conducted the program in 16 Massachusetts communities between 1988 and 2003. Finkelstein’s team measured changes in antibiotic prescribing rates among three groups of children: 3 to 24 months, 24 to 48 months, and 48 to 72 months.
By the end of the study, the intervention had not changed the rate of antibiotic use in the youngest group, but for children between 24 and 48 months, the rates decreased by 4.2 percent and for the oldest children, the rates decreased by 6.7 percent.
Patent office rejects Gilead patents for Viread
WASHINGTON The Patent and Trademark Office has tentatively rejected four patents for Gilead Sciences’ HIV drug Viread, according to published reports.
The Public Patent Foundation filed a petition in March seeking to revoke the patents for the drug because they felt the drug should never have been patented in the first place, as the technology used to make the drug had been previously disclosed publicly.
The PTO is now re-examining the patents. Industry experts have said that it is common for the federal agency to tentatively rule patents invalid after having been asked by a third party to re-examine them. What would be unlikely would be the patents being permanently revoked, which has only occurred about 10 percent of the time.
Gilead sells Viread under that name and in combination with other drugs as Truvada and Atripla. Taken together, the three HIV treatments generated $3.1 billion in sales last year, according to the company.