PHARMACY

Teva Pharmaceuticals and Lonza Group join to market biosimilars

BY Alaric DeArment

Jerusalem As the possibility of a bill to allow Food and Drug Administration approval of biosimilars looms in Congress, two companies are already taking the initiative.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries announced Tuesday a partnership with Lonza Group to establish a joint venture to develop, manufacture and market biosimilars. The two companies did not specify where they would market the drugs.”We had identified biosimilars as a major growth driver for Teva in our long-term strategy and have been augmenting our knowledge base, capabilities and infrastructure to position Teva as a leader in this market,” Teva president and CEO Shlomo Yanai said in a statement. “This strategic partnership bolsters our biologics capabilities.”Teva, the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, already markets biosimilars in Europe, along with generic manufacturers Sandoz and Dr. Reddy’s, and pharmaceutical companies Merck & Co., Eli Lilly & Co. and AstraZeneca have recently announced the creation of biosimilars divisions.Financial terms of the deal between Lonza and Teva were not disclosed.

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NIH funding chronic kidney disease research

BY Alaric DeArment

Bethesda,, Md. The National Institutes of Health has announced that it will give up to $12.5 million to research projects looking for biomarkers for chronic kidney disease.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases will disburse the money over a five-year period to fund collaborative projects, including $2.5 million this year.

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RediClinic accepts Blue Shield of Texas in Austin clinics

BY Antoinette Alexander

Houston RediClinic has announced the expansion of an existing provider relationship under which the in-store clinics will now accept Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas at its six Austin HEB locations.

With this expansion, all 21 Houston and Austin RediClinic locations now accept Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.For the patients not covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, the clinic operator also accepts several other insurance plans including Aetna, Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare.

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