PHARMACY

Novavax developing swine flu vaccine, uses ferrets in preclinical trial

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. A company developing a vaccine for the A(H1N1) virus using a proprietary “virus-like particle” technology announced Tuesday that it got favorable results in a preclinical trial using ferrets.

The company said all the ferrets in the study group developed immunities against the virus after receiving a 3.75-microgram, 7.5-microgram or 15-microgram dose, followed by a second dose after three weeks. The ferrets that received the higher doses developed immunities after the first dose alone. The company conducted the study under collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Demonstrating that our influenza VLP vaccine candidate protects against the pandemic H1N1 virus in an animal model is another important milestone for us to have met,” Novavax VP vaccine development Gale Smith said in a statement.

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Teva receives FDA approval for colon cancer generic

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of a colon cancer treatment.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries announced last week the approval and launch of oxaliplatin, an injectable drug, in the 50 mg per 10 milliliter and 100 mg per 20 milliliter strengths. The drug is a generic version of Debiopharm’s and Sanofi-Aventis’ Eloxatin and is approved as an adjuvant treatment of stage III colon cancer in patients who have undergone complete resection of the primary tumor and treatment of advanced colorectal cancer.

In June, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled in Teva’s favor, finding that Teva did not infringe U.S. Patent No. 5,338,874, Debiopharm’s patent on Eloxatin. Sanofi and Debiopharm have appealed the decision, and Sanofi has sued the FDA seeking to rescind all approvals of generic oxaliplatin pending resolution of the appeal.

Eloxatin had sales of $1.3 billion in the United States last year, according to IMS Health data.

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NACDS president, CEO Anderson joins Rep. Loebsack for pharmacy tours

BY Alaric DeArment

IOWA CITY, Iowa The head of the largest organization representing the country’s retail pharmacy chains recently went on a short tour in the heartland.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced Monday that president and CEO Steven Anderson accompanied Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, in visiting an Iowa City, Iowa, Hartig Drug and a Mount Vernon, Iowa, Shepley Pharmacy in an effort to demonstrate pharmacy’s role in the healthcare system. Anderson is an alumnus of Mount Vernon’s Cornell College and serves on its board of trustees.

“It is my sincere honor to return to Iowa for this important healthcare event,” Anderson said in a statement. “These pharmacy tours will help to raise awareness of the vital role of pharmacy in fostering access to care, reducing healthcare costs and improving patient health and healthcare quality, and we appreciate Rep. Loebsack’s leadership and energetic participating.”

The tours followed the NACDS’ recent Pharmacy and Technology Conference in Boston and RxIMPACT, an advocacy program on Capitol Hill.

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