HEALTH

Hi-Tech continues to beef up sports nutrition portfolio

BY Michael Johnsen

NORCROSS, Ga. – Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals continues to beef up its sports nutrition product portfolio with the acquistion of Sports One brands Amphedrine, Andro-XS, Better Whey, and Solid Mass. The acquisition comes days after the company's purchase of Innovative's sports nutrition portfolio.
 
"Sports One products will serve as a growth catalyst for our sports supplement segment, providing this division with another leading brand in the high-growth sports nutrition category," said Steve Smith, EVP Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals. 
 
Hi-Tech's recent strategy has been, and according to its leaders will continue to be, growth through M&A activity. Hi-Tech has been able to increase its market share in the United States through the acquisition of Florida-based Synergy Nutritional Industries in 2005, and gained a larger market share when it acquired Advanced Performance Supplements in 2011. Hi-Tech gained further marketshare when it acquired Nittany Pharmaceuticals in Pennsylvania and ALR Industries in California in 2012. In 2015, Hi-Tech has acquired Advanced Pharmaceuticals and Nutritionals, FormuTech Nutrition, Innovative Laboratories and with the most recent acquisition by Hi-Tech of Sports One it is the fourth acquisition for Hi-Tech and will not be the last of the year, the company stated.
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Aspirin may prevent progression of mesothelioma, research finds

BY Michael Johnsen

HONOLULU — Aspirin may inhibit the growth of mesothelioma, an aggressive asbestos-related cancer, University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers reported Monday.
 
The study published in Cell Death and Disease showed that aspirin slows down the growth of mesothelioma by blocking the carcinogenic effects of the inflammatory molecule, High-Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1). Researchers believe the molecule directly promotes mesothelioma growth.
 
"HMGB1 is an inflammatory molecule that plays a critical role in the initiation and progression of malignant mesothelioma," stated Haining Yang, associate professor in the Thoracic Oncology Program at the UH Cancer Center. "Inhibiting HMGB1 dramatically reduced malignant mesothelioma growth in mice and significantly improved survival of treated animals." 
 
Aspirin is mostly used as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, which is absorbed by the stomach and upper intestine. Working with collaborators, Yang and Michele Carbone, director of the UH Cancer Center's Thoracic Oncology Program, found that at least some of the so far unknown anti-tumor activity of aspirin is through preventing HMBG1 activity.
 
Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive and often deadly cancer that can result from exposure to asbestos and asbestos-like fibers such as erionite. The prolonged presence of asbestos fibers lodged in the organ lining initiates a vicious cycle of chronic cell death and chronic inflammation that, over a period of many years, can lead to mesothelioma.
 
The researchers theorized that people at high risk of developing mesothelioma could take aspirin as a way to prevent or delay the growth of the cancer, and thus increase their chances of survival. Such individuals would include people occupationally exposed to asbestos, or people who live in areas high in naturally occurring asbestos-like fibers. They also encourage future studies to uncover the precise mechanism by which aspirin blocks HMGB1.
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Protein Sciences out of the gate early with approved Flublok vaccine

BY Michael Johnsen

MERIDEN, Conn. – Protein Sciences announced Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the composition of Flublok influenza vaccine for the 2015/16 flu season.  
 
"We are extremely pleased with the early approval of the 2015/16 Flublok formulation," said Manon Cox, president and CEO of Protein Sciences. "We expect Flublok to be available in Target pharmacies and other retail chains before most other vaccines this year. Flublok is approved for use in everyone 18 years and older."
 
This year, there are two strain changes, the company noted. The new vaccine formulation will be available to distributors and retailers in mid-August.  
 
A recent clinical study of the quadrivalent version of Flublok in approximately 9,000 adults 50 years and older showed that Flublok recipients were 31% less likely to develop laboratory confirmed influenza than the people that received a traditional egg-based quadrivalent vaccine, the company noted.
 
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