PHARMACY

GSK SVP appointed to board of directors at Valeant

BY Alaric DeArment

ALISO VIEJO Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has appointed a GlaxoSmithKline executive to its board of directors, the drug maker announced Tuesday.

Valeant said it appointed Steve Stefano, GSK’s SVP payer markets division to a vacant board position with a term that will expire at the annual stockholders meeting next year.

“We are pleased to add someone of Steve’s caliber to our board,” GSK chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson said in a statement. “Given his experience in the managed care area, coupled with his leadership and experience at our partner GlaxoSmithKline, Steve will provide valuable insight and perspective to our already diverse board.”

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FDA approves fast-track designation for Hodgkin lymphoma treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

BOTHELL, Wash. An investigational drug for treating Hodgkin lymphoma has received fast-track designation from the Food and Drug Administration, the maker of the drug has announced.

Seattle Genetics, based in the Seattle suburb of Bothell, Wash., said it received the designation for SGN-35, for which it hopes to soon start a phase 2 study.

“Receiving fast-track designation is another important component of our regulatory strategy for SGN-35 and a key step for this program,” Seattle Genetics president and CEO Clay Siegall said. “With our pivotal trial underway, we expect data in 2011.”

That year, Siegall said, the company hopes to file for regulatory approval, possibly launching the drug in 2012. So far, the drug has received orphan drug designation in the United States and Europe for Hodgkin lymphoma and anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

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GSK submits study results for HPV, cervical cancer vaccination

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline has submitted data from a phase 3 efficacy study on a vaccine for human papillomavirus and cervical cancer to the Food and Drug Administration, the company announced Monday.

The drug, Cervarix (human papillomavirus vaccine [Types 16, 18] recombinant, adjuvanted, adsorbed), is designed to prevent HPV types 16 and 18. The study, called HPV-008, enrolled more than 18,600 girls and women aged 15 to 25 from 14 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Cervarix already has approval in more than 90 countries, including the member countries of the European Union, Mexico, Australia, Singapore and the Philippines.

“We are pleased to have reached this significant milestone for Cervarix,” GSK VP and director North American vaccine development Barbara Howe said in a statement. “The data submitted to the FDA reaffirm our confidence in the vaccine’s safety and efficacy profile.”

Merck & Co. already has FDA approval for its vaccine, Gardasil (human papillomavirus quadrivalent [Types 6, 11, 16, 18]).

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