PHARMACY

Newly developed ‘iPill’ equipped with microprocessor to control dose, timing

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK In the future, pills for some diseases may come not in the form of tablets and capsules, but as electronic “intelligent pills.”

Philips Research announced Tuesday that it had developed what it calls the “iPill,” which it foresees being used for treating digestive tract disorders such as colitis, colon cancer and Crohn’s disease.

Powered by a microprocessor, the iPill determines its location in the location in the intestinal tract by measuring local acidity. It then delivers controlled doses of medicine according to a pre-defined drug release profile.

“As part of Philips’ commitment to provide integrated solutions for patient care, we are exploring the potential benefits of our technologies in the therapeutic arena,” Philips Research senior vice president Henk van Houten said. “We foresee that technologies like the iPill that combine electronics with diagnostic and therapeutic properties, will open up the possibility of targeting almost any kind of drug to a specific location in the intestinal tract.”

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PHARMACY

FDA raises questions about efficacy of pain medication tamper-proofing

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Questions have arisen as to whether a pill by Pain Therapeutics and King Pharmaceuticals is resistant to tampering.

A memo by the Food and Drug Administration Monday concerns the drug Remoxy, a formulation of oxycodone that uses liquid capsule drug-delivery technology designed to prevent misuse of the drug. Some people have abused oxycodone tablets by crushing them, dissolving it in water and then injecting it for its opiate-like effects.

The FDA’s memo said that Pain Therapeutics did not sufficiently conduct long-term tests of Remoxy to determine whether the oxycodone could be extracted and diverted, though Pain Therapeutics disputes that claim.

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Titan releases earnings report for Q3 2008

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Titan Pharmaceuticals has released financial results for third quarter 2008.

Total operating costs for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30, were $6 million, compared with $4.6 million for third quarter 2007, the company said. Net loss for the quarter was $5.9 million, compared to $4.3 million last year; losses in both cases totaled 10 cents a share. The increase in operating costs resulted mostly from an increase in research and development funding related to development of the opiate addiction treatment Probuphine (buprenorphine) and a slight increase in general and administrative costs.

“We have continued to streamline our expenses and focus our resources on the phase 3 clinical development of Probuphine,” Titan president and chief executive Marc Rubin said. “During the third quarter, we have engaged in discussions with several potential partners both in the U.S. and Europe, and we are continuing these efforts as we evaluate strategic alternatives for the company.”

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