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Target to celebrate its first from-the-ground-up build in Toronto

BY Antoinette Alexander

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Target is celebrating on March 14 the official grand opening of its Toronto Stockyards store. This is its first from-the-ground-up build in Toronto, which marks a major milestone for the retailer as it continues its expansion across the country through 2014.

“This Stockyards location was built from the ground up, providing us with the opportunity to build a prototypical Target store in terms of design and layout,” said Tony Fisher, president, Target Canada.  “We look forward to celebrating the grand opening of this brand new store, which further reinforces our continued investment in the Canadian market and our commitment to bringing the Target brand experience to guests across the country.”

Two other Target store locations, including a store at Kingsway Mall in Edmonton, Alberta and one at Hillside Centre in Victoria, B.C., will also be hosting grand opening celebrations on March 14.

The stores will feature a licensed Starbucks, as well as in-store pharmacies.
 

 

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Study examines azithromycin, levofloxacin use and risks of cardiac arrhythmia and death

BY Antoinette Alexander

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Using azithromycin and levofloxacin increases the risk of cardiac arrhythmia and death, according to a study of U.S. veterans.

The research was published in the March/April issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

Azithromycin use has been associated with increased risk of death among patients at high baseline risk, but not for younger and middle-aged adults, researchers stated. The Food and Drug Administration issued a public warning on azithromycin, including a statement that the risks were similar for levofloxacin. This prompted researchers to conduct a study among U.S. veterans to test the hypothesis that taking azithromycin or levofloxacin would increase the risk of cardiovascular death and cardiac arrhythmia compared with those taking amoxicillin.

Researchers studied a cohort of U.S. veterans (mean age 56.8 years) who received an exclusive outpatient dispensation of either amoxicillin, azithromycin or levofloxacin at the Department of Veterans Affairs between September 1999 and April 2012. Azithromycin was dispensed mostly for five days, whereas amoxicillin and levofloxacin were dispensed mostly for at least 10 days.

According to researchers, they found that, compared with amoxicillin, azithromycin resulted in a statistically significant increase in mortality and arrhythmia risks on days one to five, but not six to 10. Levofloxacin, which was predominantly dispensed for a minimum of 10 days, resulted in an increased risk throughout the 10-day period.

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Research: Global epilepsy therapeutics market to reach $4.5B by 2019

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — The epilepsy therapeutics market value in the eight major countries — the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan — will increase from $3.4 billion in 2012 to $4.5 billion by 2019, at a compound annual growth rate of 3.9%, according to a new report from business intelligence provider GBI Research.

According to the report, the United States will grow at a higher CAGR of 4.8%, climbing from $1.9 billion in 2012 to $2.6 billion by 2019. Meanwhile, the five European countries and Canada will achieve a combined, smaller CAGR of 3.1% during the forecast period.

GBI Research attributes the anticipated market expansion to new anti-epileptic drugs that have been approved during the last five years. However, further growth will be limited by the recent patent expiration of key AEDs, such as Keppra (levetiracetam) and Lamictal (lamotrigine).

“The epilepsy treatment arena has historically been dominated by Gamma Aminobutyric Acid modulators and ion channel blockers, although a sizeable proportion of patients don’t respond to these existing treatment options,” said Vijaya Vulapalli, senior analyst for GBI Research.

“Second-generation AEDs, including levetiracetam, zonisamide and Vimpat (lacosamide), have signalled a shift in this trend in the last decade, with improved tolerability and safety through the use of new mechanisms of action. Recent approvals of Fycompa (perampanel) and Trobalt (retigabine) have continued this innovation by focusing on new molecular targets.”

With most of the molecules being approved in the last few years, the current epilepsy pipeline is weak, GBI Research said. Phase III trials account for 18% of the overall pipeline, but the majority of these late-stage molecules are reformulations or line extensions of existing drugs.

“Furthermore, the recent epilepsy pipeline does not boast drugs with novel mechanisms of action, which are considered by most prescribers as an urgent need in epilepsy therapeutics today,” Vulapalli added.

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