PHARMACY

Onyx files suit against Bayer over cancer-fighting compound

BY Alaric DeArment

EMERYVILLE, Calif. A U.S. drug maker has accused Bayer of violating a collaborative agreement between the two companies in a suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals said Sunday that it seeks a declaration by Bayer that fluoro-sorafenib, a cancer-fighting compound, is a jointly-owned compound because the two companies discovered it during joint research. The two companies identified the compound in 1998. The compound is a variant of the drug Nexavar (sorafenib) that replaces Nexavar’s hydrogen atom with a fluorine atom. The drug is mostly used to treat cancers of the liver and kidneys.

“Onyx and Bayer have had a long-standing and successful collaboration for more than 15 years,” Onyx VP and legal counsel Greg Giotta said. “Against that background, we are disappointed that we could not resolve this matter and believe this complaint is necessary to protect our rights and the rights of our shareholders under the collaboration agreement.”

Onyx said that it continues to work with Bayer in the development and commercialization of Nexavar. The two companies had announced Friday that they would present more than 60 studies evaluating the use of Nexavar in treating thyroid, lung and gastric cancer and leukemia at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

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E.F. Bavis and Associates create non-pneumatic, tape-drive prescription carrier

BY Alaric DeArment

CINCINNATI Retail pharmacies that deliver prescriptions to drive-through customers via pneumatic tube have a more environmentally friendly option.

E.F. Bavis and Associates, a company that manufactures drive-through equipment for retail pharmacies, banks and quick-service businesses, has launched the Captive Carrier TransTrax, a non-pneumatic, tape-drive prescription carrier. The company said that other systems typically use 40 amps to operate, while E.F. Bavis’ uses two amps and is made with recyclable materials.

A company spokesman said that while it is conceptually similar to a pneumatic tube system, the use of a tape drive allows Captive Carrier to adjust to different vehicle heights and allows for manual retrieval in the event of a power failure.

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Genentech presents positive study results at ASCO meeting

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Positive results of phase 2 and phase 3 studies of a cancer-fighting monoclonal antibody are among the subjects that biotech company Genentech plans to present at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 45th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Key study results will include positive phase 3 results for Herceptin (trastuzumab) in advanced HER2-positive stomach cancer and phase 2 data in metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer with trastuzumab-DM1, which uses Herceptin’s antibody to deliver a specialized cancer cell-killing agent to tumor cells. The company will also present data from two phase 3 studies of Avastin (bevacizumab), one that studied the drug as a treatment for early-stage colon cancer and another that investigated a combination of the drug with Tarceva (erlotinib) as a first-line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.

 

“By focusing on the biology of cancer, we are able to create potential new therapies that uniquely target the disease, impede multiple growth triggers and can be used at different times during the course of treatment,” Genentech chief medical officer and EVP global development Hal Barron stated. “Biomarker research is involved in each of our cancer development programs in order to help us identify which patients may respond best to our medicines.”

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