PHARMACY

JDRF, Axxam, Fast Forward to develop diabetes, MS treatments

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A group of companies and organizations plan to collaborate to develop new treatments for multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes.

Italian life sciences company Axxam, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Fast Forward, the commercial drug development arm of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, will fund the discovery of new drugs for the two autoimmune diseases.

 

Axxam will screen its chemical library to identify compounds that can target immune system ion channels, pores in the surface of immune cells that allow the cells to activate. Recent research has shown that the immune cells of patients with MS and Type 1 diabetes have high levels of the Kv1.3 ion channel, and the resulting hyperactivity contributes to dysfunction of the immune system. Meanwhile, the JDRF and Fast Forward will seek to lessen the risk of drug discovery and accelerate the development of new therapies.

“We are pleased to partner with Axxam and JDRF to advance the development of new treatments for [Type 1 diabetes] and MS,” Fast Forward president Timothy Coetzee said.

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Walgreens receives URAC accreditation for specialty pharmacy

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has been awarded accreditation from URAC, a Washington, D.C.-based healthcare accrediting organization that establishes quality standards for the healthcare industry.

“We are very excited to have been awarded full accreditation as a specialty pharmacy provider from URAC,” said Michael A. Nameth, EVP Walgreens Health Services. “Patients who have been prescribed specialty medications often face significant challenges with life-changing illnesses, such as managing difficult therapies and in dealing with the financial burdens associated with their treatment. Walgreens is fully committed to providing our patients with the best support possible as they face these challenges.”

As a national specialty pharmacy provider, Walgreens delivers individualized care for people with complex health conditions while helping manage costs, the drug store chain said. The rapid growth of the specialty pharmacy industry has been fueled by the growing number of patients with complex chronic conditions that require more of the latest highly engineered pharmaceuticals.

“By applying for and receiving full accreditation as a specialty pharmacy provider, Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy has demonstrated a commitment to quality health care,” said Alan P. Spielman, URAC president and CEO. “Quality health care is crucial to our nation’s welfare and it is important to have organizations that are willing to measure themselves against national standards.”

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Decision Resources acquires BioTrends

BY Allison Cerra

WALTHAM, Mass. One of the world’s leading research and advisory firms focusing on healthcare insights and analysis acquired a provider of specialized, syndicated market research in clinically complex, small to mid-size pharmaceutical markets.

The acquisition of Exton, Pa.-based BioTrends by Waltham, Mass.-based Decision Resources will result in a significant expansion of Decision Resources’ portfolio planning segment of the biopharma business unit.

Jason LaBonte, Ph.D., newly appointed COO, Decision Resources’ biopharma portfolio planning and optimization said, “This important acquisition expands the breadth of our disease coverage. BioTrends’ deep clinical intimacy with specialized pharmaceutical markets and primary research-focused model enhances our high-value offerings to the biopharma industry.”

BioTrends is particularly well-known in the nephrology market, offering unique insights on drugs in that market. They also cover dermatology, gastroenterology, immunology/infectious disease and rheumatology markets and, as the newest company in the Decision Resources, Inc. portfolio, plan to expand their coverage of diseases.

“We are excited to begin our next wave of growth as a Decision Resources, Inc. company,” said Jennifer Robinson, president of BioTrends. “We bring to the table an emphasis on quality and a level of detail in our syndicated research that is second-to-none.”

BioTrends will remain headquartered in Exton, Pa.

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