HEALTH

Phadia announces launch of celiac disease tests

BY Michael Johnsen

UPPSALA, Sweden Phadia on Thursday announced the launch of two new assays to support the accurate diagnosis of celiac disease.

“Our launch this month of EliA Gliadin IgA and EliA Gliadin IgG will offer physicians who suspect a possible case of celiac disease antibody tests with the lowest number of false positive results,” stated Stefan Eschbach, general manager of autoimmunity, Phadia. “This means avoiding putting patients through unnecessary biopsies.”

Celiac disease is a life-long condition in which ingestion of “gluten”, the water insoluble wheat-gliadin and the prolamins in rye and barley, leads to chronic inflammation and damage of the lining of the small intestine.

Approximately 1-out-of-every-250 people may have celiac disease, however, only 1-out-of-10 people with the disease may be actually be diagnosed, Eschbach noted. There may be as many 5 million worldwide with celiac disease.

A Mayo Clinic study published in last month’s issue of Gastroenterology reported that celiac disease is four times more common today than it was 50 years ago. Another key finding: Individuals who don’t realize they suffer from celiac disease (and therefore never received treatment for it) were four times more likely to have died during the study’s 45 years of monitoring versus individuals not affected by celiac disease.

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FDA approves Perrigo’s laxative generic

BY Michael Johnsen

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo on Tuesday announced that it has received final approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its abbreviated new drug application for over-the-counter polyethylene glycol 3350, powder for solution, a generic equivalent to Schering-Plough’s MiraLAX laxative.

Perrigo said it would begin shipping immediately.

Estimated brand sales MiraLAX for the 12 months ended Aug. 28 were $200 million, Perrigo stated.

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Study finds sleep apnea patients may have GI tract conditions

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea also tend to have additional gastrointestinal tract conditions, a new study found.

In a paper presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in San Diego, researchers analyzed prospective clinical study data of 42 adult patients with proven OSA verified in overnight polysomnography. Every patient also underwent an upper GI endoscopy to evaluate their gastrointestinal health.

Pathological GI findings were found in vast majority of patients (83.3%), 59.5% of them showing two or more findings. The most frequent observed pathology was hiatus hernia (64.3% of patients), followed by erosive esophagitis (45.2%), histological esophagitis and erosive gastritis (both 21.4%), duodenal ulcer (7.1%), and biliary reflux (4.8%).

Approximately 12 million Americans have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is characterized by episodes of reduced or no airflow throughout the night.

From their findings, the authors concluded that patients who appear to suffer from OSA should not only be investigated in sleep laboratory, but should also be referred to a gastroenterologist for additional diagnostic exams in order to provide a comprehensive treatment approach.

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