PHARMACY

Shire to buy ViroPharma

BY Alaric DeArment

DUBLIN — Shire will pay $4.2 billion to buy a drug maker specializing in treatments for rare diseases.

Shire, headquartered in Ireland, said the $50-per-share acquisition of ViroPharma would strengthen its rare disease portfolio. Exton, Pa.-based ViroPharma’s products include the hereditary angioedema drug Cinryze (C1 esterase inhibitor [human]) and Vancocin (vancomycin hydrochloride), used to treat Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea.

"The acquisition of ViroPharma will immediately benefit Shire and is entirely consistent with our clear strategic objective of strengthening our rare disease portfolio," Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov said. "It brings us a new growth-driving product which augments our already strong growth prospects."

 

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FDA approves Sunovion’s Aptiom as add-on therapy for epilepsy

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for treating epileptic seizures, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Aptiom (eslicarbazepine acetate), made by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, as an add-on medication for seizures in adults. About 200,000 new cases of seizures and epilepsy occur in the United States each year, according to the FDA.

"Some patients with epilepsy do not achieve satisfactory seizure control from existing treatment," FDA Division of Neurology Products acting director Eric Bastings said. "It is important we continue to make new treatment options available to patients."

 

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Eisai introduces Aciphex Sprinkle capsules

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Drug maker Eisai has launched a new version of a drug used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, the company said Friday.

Eisai announced the availability of Aciphex Sprinkle delayed-release capsules in the 5-mg and 10-mg strengths. The Food and Drug Administration approve the drug in March.

Aciphex Sprinkle capsules, which are approved for use in children aged 1 to 11 for up to 12 weeks, are designed to be broken open and sprinkled on soft food or liquid.

 

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