PHARMACY

Mid-stage trial commences for Eladur

BY Alaric DeArment

CUPERTINO, Calif. King Pharmaceuticals has started a mid-stage clinical trial of a pain medication it is licensing from Durect Corp., Durect announced Wednesday.

King has started a 12-week phase 2b trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Eladur (bupivacaine), a patch for chronic lower back pain.

“We’re pleased that King is developing Eladur for chronic lower back pain, a clinical indication for which currently marketed anesthetic patches are not approved,” Durect president and CEO James Brown said. “If approved for chronic lower back pain, we believe that this novel bupivacaine patch has the potential to compete strongly in the large market for topical pain products given its patient-friendly design and extended duration of therapeutic use.”

The two companies are developing Eladur under an collaboration originally started in October 2008 between Durect and Alpharma Ireland, which King acquired in December 2008.

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PHARMACY

Kevin Tripp joins Asteres’ board

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO A provider of automated pharmacy and wellness kiosks has named a retail veteran to its board of directors.

Asteres, maker of ScriptCenter, appointed Kevin Tripp, a former EVP and Midwest division president at Supervalu, to its board. Tripp joined Supervalu the 2006 acquisition of Albertsons, where he served as EVP drug operations and drug store division president, as well as a member of the corporation’s executive council that directed food and drug operations in 37 states. Tripp’s additional prior affiliations included National Association of Chain Drug Stores, as an executive board member, executive committee member and charitable foundation board member. He also served as a board member for the University of Southern Nevada’s College of Pharmacy.

“We are excited to have Kevin join our board,” said Mark de Bruin, Asteres CEO.  “Kevin’s wealth of retail operations expertise will be of great value to Asteres as ScriptCenter expands in pharmacy and into the front of the store for health and wellness products.”

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NanoGuardian announces partnership with security firm

BY Alaric DeArment

SKOKIE, Ill. Security firm Altegrity Risk International has signed on as security partner for a company developing technology to keep diverted and counterfeited drugs out of the supply chain.

NanoGuardian announced the partnership with ARI Tuesday, which it said will help deliver its Closed-Loop Protection program to manufacturers. Closed-Loop Protection works with NanoEncryption, in which a special code is imprinted onto the surface of a drug and uses a statistical modeling and randomized pharmacy auditing system to identify counterfeit and diverted drugs on pharmacy shelves.

“NanoGuardian is committed to forging relationships with best-of-class partners in our effort to protect patients and brands,” NanoGuardian EVP Dean Hart said. “We are very excited to announce another such partnership with ARI, a global leader in corporate security with significant experience in the pharmaceutical space.”

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