PharmaLink gets orphan drug designation for Nefecon
STOCKHOLM The Food and Drug Administration has given orphan drug designation to a treatment for a rare kidney disease under mid-stage clinical development by privately owned Swedish drug maker PharmaLink, the company said.
The FDA granted the designation to Nefecon (PL-56), a treatment for IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease, a disorder that leads to end-stage kidney disease. The FDA gives orphan drug designation to incentivize development of treatments for rare and serious disorders.
“Today’s news marks a significant milestone for PharmaLink and increases the commercial value of Nefecon as it moves toward the marketplace,” PharmaLink managing director Johan Haggblad said. “We believe this product candidate has great potential in treating IgA nephropathy.”
BI, Latino Commission on AIDS launch website
RIDGEFIELD, Conn. Drug maker Boehringer Ingelheim and the Latino Commission on AIDS have launched a website targeted at Latinos living with HIV, the two announced Thursday.
The website, MenteCuerpoHAART.com, is a Spanish-language version of an already existing English-language version, MindBodyHAART.com. The site is designed to help patients, their families and doctors understand issues affecting health care and treatment of HIV and find resources on prescribed medications and clinical trials, and communicate with medical providers.
“We face many health challenges in our communities,” Latino Commission on AIDS president Guillermo Chacon said. “It is important that we respond to the crisis of HIV/AIDS, perpetuated by the stigma, poverty, immigration status, fear, access to health care and barriers related to language.”
Identigene introduces STD test kit
SALT LAKE CITY Identigene on Thursday officially unveiled its Identigene STD test kit, which currently is available over the counter at Rite Aid.
Purchasers of the Identigene STD test kit can receive a highly accurate test result for chlamydia and gonorrhea, two of the more popular sexually transmitted diseases, within two to three business days of receipt of a urine specimen by the Identigene laboratory.
“As costs and wait times for health care continue to rise, people are increasingly looking to home diagnostics,” stated Steve Smith, executive director of Identigene. “The Identigene STD test kit is a confidential, convenient and cost-effective way for people to protect their privacy and help ensure their own sexual health, as well as that of their partners.”
Often, infected people don’t know they have contracted an STD that can harm them and others. “Symptoms may not be noticeable until the disease progresses and potentially causes more serious health concerns,” said Identigene’s medical director, Michael Rhode. “Early and regular STD testing can greatly reduce these risks and enable earlier, more effective treatment.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends yearly testing for people who are sexually active, especially for pregnant women. Individuals who test positive using the Identigene STD test kit should consult with their doctor or may ask an Identigene consultant to help them find local medical treatment.
The CDC estimated that more than 1 million Americans ages 14 years to 39 years are infected with an STD each year. Untreated complications from chlamydia and gonorrhea can be severe and may include infertility or sterility. Women may get pelvic inflammatory disease and are five times more likely to contract HIV/AIDS if infected by chlamydia.
The Identigene STD kit retails for a suggested price of $19.99; the laboratory processing fee is $99.