PHARMACY

J&J’s drug for Crohn’s disease proves more effective than standard treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

TRENTON, N.J. A study has found that Remicade (infliximab), Johnson & Johnson’s injected Crohn’s disease drug, works better than a commonly used pill.

The six-month study, run by J&J biotech subsidiary Centocor, gave 508 adult patients Remicade plus a placebo pill, Remicade plus azathioprine or azathioprine plus a placebo injection. Fifty-seven percent of patients receiving the injection and the pill had no symptoms and were able to discontinue the use of steroids. In the group getting Remicade plus the placebo, 44 percent of patients improved, while 31 percent of those receiving the pill and placebo injection improved.

Forty-four percent of patients receiving both treatments also experienced healing of their bowels. Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack the intestinal lining.

Azathioprine is the generic name for Prometheus Labs’ Imuran. It is also available in generic form.

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Rite Aid reports cash dividend payout for preferred stock

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Monday declared a cash dividend of $0.4049 per share on its 5.5 percent Series I Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock for the period commencing on Aug. 1, 2008 through Nov. 16, 2008.

The dividend is payable on Nov. 17, 2008 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 15, 2008, the company stated.

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Deciphera, Lilly partner to test compounds in treatment of cancer

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS Eli Lilly and Deciphera Pharmaceuticals said Friday they would collaborate to investigate a group of Deciphera compounds as a potential cancer treatment.

 

The companies said they would investigate Deciphera’s preclinical B-Raf kinase inhibitors as cancer treatments, combining Deciphera’s drug-discovery resources and Lilly’s drug discovery, development and commercialization resources.

 

 

“This collaboration is further evidence of Lilly’s ongoing commitment to oncology research,” Lilly vice president for discovery research and clinical investigation Dr. William Chin said. “We look forward to working with Deciphera to leverage their B-Raf kinase inhibitor program, with the ultimate goal of developing promising drug candidates for cancer patients.”

 

 

As part of the deal, Lilly will obtain exclusive worldwide rights to any products developed as part of the collaboration, while Deciphera will receive an upfront payment and research funding, as well as up to $130 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments.

 

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