Study shows methotrexate beneficial in cutting risk of heart attack
LONDON A study published in the journal Arthritis Therapy, discovered that the rheumatoid arthritis drug, methotrexate, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke significantly.
Methotrexate alters the body’s use of folic acid, a component needed for cell growth. It was initially created as a cancer drug that would generate cell growth as early as three-to-six weeks after treatment. Now it is very effective in treating the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis, which, according to published reports, affects 20 million people worldwide.
The study was conducted in 15 countries, examining over 4,300 people to examine the disease as well as testing the medicine’s benefits. Researchers involved also stemmed from all over the world including Spain, Argentina and the United States.
The studies have found that using methotrexate for one year decreases the risk of heart attack by 18 percent and stroke by 11 percent. “This shows that we are really making a difference in patients’ lives,” stated Tuulikki Sokka, a researcher with Jyvaskyla Central Hospital in Finland,
Possible new FDA diabetes drug guidelines could delay approvals
SAN DIEGO A draft of new guidelines proposed by the Food and Drug Administration for developing drugs to treat diabetes may lead to a delay of the approval for a new long-acting diabetes drug from Amylin Pharmaceuticals, according to the Associated Press.
The FDA suggested increased testing for macrovascular complications, or diseases affecting large veins, particularly for drugs that are linked to problems with those veins.
That could delay approval of Amylin’s diabetes drug candidate exenatide LAR, a weekly version of its Byetta treatment and a Type 2 injectable diabetes drug, which it co-manufactures with Eli Lilly, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Matthew Osborne wrote in a note to clients Monday. He said the guidelines could make clinical trials of diabetes drugs more expensive and difficult.
FDA approves Ranbaxy’s generic version of Risperdal
NEW DELHI, India Ranbaxy Laboratories has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a generic version of Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ schizophrenia drug, Risperdal, according to published reports.
Risperdal is also used to treat such behavior problems as aggression and self-injury, as well as sudden mood changes in teenagers and autism in children. The company has received approval to launch the generic risperidone in 0.25 mg, 0.5 mg, 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg and 4 mg strengths.
Risperdal had sales of $924 million in 2007.