PHARMACY

J&J teams up with TB Alliance to develop tuberculosis drug

BY Anna Mcgrath

NEW YORK Drug developer Johnson & Johnson announced plans to team up with the Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development as it continues developing the TB treatment TMC207.

As of now, TMC207 is in mid-stage clinical trials and, if approved, could be the first of its kind on the market, as well as the first TB drug in more than four decades to take a new approach to treating the condition, according to reports.

According to the partnership with the TB Alliance, J&J’s partner Tibotec will continue developing the drug for drug-resistant forms of TB. If it is approved, the parties involved will establish an access program for developing countries. The TB Alliance will have a royalty-free license on the drug for drug-susceptible forms of TB and development costs will be shared.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately one-third of the world’s population is infected with bacillus that causes TB. The disease is responsible for nearly 5,000 deaths daily worldwide, making it one of the world’s deadliest diseases.

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Covidien enters a license, development collaboration with Nuvo Research

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. LOUIS A healthcare products company hopes to expand its entry into the branded painkiller market through a new deal with a Canadian drug development company.

Covidien announced that it had entered a license and development collaboration with Mississauga, Ontario-based Nuvo Research, which develops transdermal and topical drugs. The collaboration includes a topical painkiller that combines the nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac sodium with the transdermal carrier dimethyl sulfoxide.

Covidien said that Nuvo would receive an upfront payment – which Covidien would expense in its fiscal third quarter – development and sales milestone payments and royalties.

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APhA ‘stands ready’ for reformed healthcare system

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON An organization representing the country’s pharmacists heralded comments by President Barack Obama before the American Medical Association Monday that mentioned members of the profession as playing a role in healthcare reform.

Pharmacists “stand ready” to be part of a reformed healthcare system, the American Pharmacists Association said in response.

The APhA said that evidence increasingly indicates pharmacists help keep healthcare costs in check through such services as medication therapy management, which includes educating patients on how to take prescription drugs properly and safely, and health screenings and immunizations.

“We need to build on the examples of outstanding medicine at places like the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where the quality of care for cystic fibrosis patients shot up after the hospital began incorporating suggestions from parents,” Obama said in his remarks before the AMA’s annual conference in Chicago. “And places like Tallahassee Memorial Health Care, where deaths were dramatically reduced with rapid response teams that monitored patients’ conditions and ‘multidisciplinary rounds’ with everyone from physicians to pharmacists.”

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