PHARMACY

GSK, Theravance commence late-stage clinical trial

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance have started a late-stage clinical trial of a drug for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, GSK announced.

The British drug maker said the first patient had begun treatment as part of a phase 3 trial of a combination between fluticasone furoate and the investigational drug 642444, which belongs to the class known as long-acting beta agonists. GSK markets fluticasone furoate under the brand name Veramyst as a treatment for allergies.

The study will involve more than 6,000 patients and includes two 12-month exacerbation studies, two six-month safety and efficacy studies and others.

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Pleio’s medication adherence program yields positive results

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA A company that runs a medication adherence program said its program had a “highly significant” effect.

Pleio Health Support Systems announced Monday results of the Pleio GoodStart program, analyzing data from 1,776 patients taking a chronic cardiovascular medication between May 2008 and 2009 that showed patients refilled an average of two additional 30-day prescriptions during their initial nine-month period of taking the medication.

Patients in the GoodStart program also refilled their prescriptions an average of 10 days sooner than those in the control group, Pleio said.

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Deloitte report: Pharmaceutical companies’ ‘patent cliff’ could bolster mergers, acquisitions

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A wave of acquisitions indicates a trend of consolidation in the drug industry, as companies seek ways to build up their research and development pipelines while reducing overhead costs, according to a report released Tuesday by professional services firm Deloitte.

One of the factors driving mergers is that drugs representing more than $74 billion in sales will lose patent protection by 2012, which many analysts have come to call the “patent cliff.”

“With so many rapidly changing dynamics – the patent cliff, healthcare reform and still-dry capital markets – the trends in life sciences industry consolidation are almost certain to continue with a growing emphasis on those deals with companies involved with late-stage developed compounds,” Deloitte & Touche partner Phil Pfrang said in a statement. “Healthy companies have good cause to pursue deals that promise faster revenue streams and profits.”

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