PHARMACY

Santarus announces positive study on morning-dosing of Zegerid

BY Drew Buono

SAN DIEGO Santarus has announced the results of a clinical trial with its proton pump inhibitor, immediate release Zegerid, as compared to Wyeth’s Protonix delayed release tablets 40 mg and TAP Pharmaceuticals’ Prevacid delayed release capsules 30 mg. The study was held to evaluate the effects of morning dosing of the medications and to see how long the drugs could provide acid control in patients with symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

A typical measure of gastric acid control is the ability of a therapy to maintain gastric pH at a level greater than 4. The study data showed that the percent of time that gastric pH was greater than 4 for patients taking Zegerid was approximately 43 percent longer than patients treated with Protonix and approximately 22 percent longer than patients treated with Prevacid. Data were evaluated after seven continuous days of once daily dosing before breakfast.

“We believe these positive clinical results, together with the favorable results of our previously conducted studies, support the benefits of treating GERD patients with Zegerid for both daytime and nighttime acid control,” said Gerald Proehl, president and chief executive officer of Santarus.

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Pfizer eyes other large pharmaceutical companies for acquisitions

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer’s CEO said his company wants to expand its portfolio of acquired companies, and no company is too big, according to published reports.

Jeff Kindler told the Financial Times that the drug maker would consider purchasing a large stake in a major pharmaceutical company to increase its revenues. Some have speculated that this could mean a purchase of Amgen or Gilead Sciences or a merger with a larger company such as Bristol-Myers Squibb or Wyeth.

The company’s profits are in danger of falling in 2011, when the blockbuster anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) becomes open to generic competition. The drug has annual sales of about $13 billion.

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Escalon acquires Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings’ hematology division

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA A Philadelphia-area company that makes medical and diagnostic equipment has acquired a British in vitro diagnostics company’s hematology division.

Escalon Medical Corp., based in Wayne, Pa., acquired Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings’ hematology for $5.9 million Friday, according to published reports.

Neither company had posted a statement about the deal for the press on its Web site Monday.

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