PHARMACY

Salix receives patent for IBS drug

BY Alaric DeArment

RALEIGH, N.C. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to Salix Pharmaceuticals for a drug used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, Salix announced Tuesday.

The patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,452,857, protects the drug rifaximin as a treatment for IBS caused by small overgrowth of intestinal bacteria. Salix has an exclusive license to the patent from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to make, use, sell and import licensed products related to the use of rifaximin, which it will market under the brand name Xifaxan.

Salix is assessing the use of the drug as an IBS treatment.

“We are pleased with the issuance of this additional property protection for rifaximin in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome,” stated Salix president and chief executive officer Carolyn Logan. “We view patent protection as an essential component of our product lifecycle management strategy to protect the products in our portfolio.”

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FDA, SciClone meet agreement on distribution of melanoma treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration has reached an agreement with a drug maker on the design of a phase 3 trial of a skin cancer drug.

SciClone Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that it had reached the agreement with the agency concerning the drug thymalfasin, which it sees as a potential treatment for stage 4 melanoma.

“Patients suffering from stage 4 melanoma have very few treatment options available,” SciClone chief medical officer Israel Rios said in a statement. “Based on the positive data from an earlier phase 2 trial, thymalfasin could provide new treatment modalities for this high unmet medical need.”

The drug, if approved, will be sold under the brand name Zadaxin. The full name of its active ingredient is thymosin alpha 1.

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Teva releases generic version of AstraZeneca’s Pulmicort

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTH WALES, Pa. The world’s largest maker of generic drugs has introduced a generic version of AstraZeneca’s Pulmicort Respules.

Teva announced Wednesday that it had launched budesonide inhalation suspension, a treatment for asthma, in 0.25-mg-per-2-milliliters and 0.5-mg-per-2-milliliter strengths.

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