PHARMACY

RXi Pharmaceuticals appoints new director to board

BY Alaric DeArment

WORCESTER, Mass. A biopharmaceutical company that develops drugs based on RNA interference has made a new appointment to its board of directors.

RXi Pharmaceuticals Corp. announced the appointment of Richard Chin to its board of directors, effective April 23.

Chin is currently CEO of the nonprofit drug maker Institute for OneWorld Health, which develops drugs for neglected diseases in developing countries. Chin joined OneWorld Health from OXiGENE, which develops vascular-targeting drugs for cancer and ophthalmology, where he served as president and CEO. He has also worked for Elan Corp., Genentech and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals.

“I am honored to be part of this exciting, growing company that is working to create some truly innovative new therapeutics,” Chin stated.

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FDA, SAMHSA to develop education campaign for methadone

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. A drug used to treat pain and heroin addiction is one of the most-abused prescription drugs in the country, but two government agencies will collaborate to educate the public on how to use it safety.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced Monday that they would launch a joint education campaign within SAMHSA about the safe use of methadone.

The agencies will hold a press conference Tuesday morning to mark the launch of the program.

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Decision Resources releases bipolar depression report

BY Alaric DeArment

WALTHAM, Mass. Psychiatrists treating patients with bipolar depression base their prescribing decisions on a therapy’s effect on decrease in severity of depressive symptoms, a report released Monday has found.

Decision Resources’ report, “Bipolar Depression: Despite Negative Results, Physicians Still Hopeful About Aripiprazole,” based on a survey of psychiatrists in the United States and Europe, also found that an orally administered drug that carries a lower risk of weight gain than AstraZeneca’s Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) would earn a 21% patient share in bipolar depression in the United States and a 30% share in Europe.

Most of the people interviewed also thought that Abilify (aripiprazole), made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, is an efficacious therapy for bipolar depression despite its failure in clinical trials of people with the disorder.

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