PHARMACY

Novavax terminates Estrasorb agreement with Allergan

BY Drew Buono

ROCKVILLE, Md. Novavax has terminated its manufacturing supply agreement with Allergan for the drug Estrasorb, which is used to treat hot flashes that are associated with menopause.

The drug was licensed by Novavax to Esprit Pharma, which was recently acquired by Allergan. Novavax will manufacture remaining orders before closing its facility and Allergan will sell the drug from available inventory.

Novavax will now look to focus on its vaccine business. The company also announced that it regained the rights from Allergan to develop ESP 210, a drug in Phase II development for hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

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PHARMACY

GSK ready to cut jobs following quarterly losses

BY Drew Buono

PHILADELPHIA GlaxoSmithKline is ready to let some of its workers go to make up for its recent report of lost earnings.

The company reported that total pharmaceutical turnover for the third quarter fell by 2% to $9.4 billion. In the United States, turnover fell 7% to $4.5 billion, impacted by continued generic competition and largely because of a 38 percent drop in sales of its diabetes drug Avandia.

The plan is a three-year $1.4 billion move that includes job cuts, most likely starting at its Avandia sales force. According to the London Times, the company is awaiting what the Food and Drug Administration will report about their findings on Avandia and if it should receive a “black box” warning for heart attack risks.

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FDA approves Marillion NDA for novel cancer treatment

BY Drew Buono

MALVERN, Pa. Marillion Pharmaceuticals has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for it investigational new drug application for its lead product candidate MN-201, a vitamin D5 analog for the treatment of cancer.

The drug will now proceed to Phase 1 human clinical trial for patients with advanced tumors in various cancers.

In preclinical studies, MN-201 performed well against cancer cells. In animal models, MN-201 also resulted in anti-tumor activity including tumor regression in xenograft models of major solid tumor types. In contrast to treatment with other vitamin D(3) analogs and the naturally occurring vitamin D hormone, calcitriol, favorable anticancer effects with MN-201 were observed in the absence of significantly raised calcium levels.

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