Teva, UCB pair up to market respiratory treatments
NORTH WALES, Pa., and ATLANTA The U.S. respiratory therapy unit of Teva Pharmaceuticals, Teva Specialty Pharmaceuticals and UCB announced an agreement to co-commercialize Teva’s respiratory medicines.
The first product to be promoted is Teva’s ProAir HFA Inhalation Aerosol. ProAir HFA is the number-one branded hydrofluroalkane albuterol sulfate inhaler in the U.S.
The agreement will provide UCB future joint-promotion opportunities with other products in development by Teva Specialty Pharmaceuticals. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Over the last months we have undertaken a rich, strategic review globally across regions, therapy areas and business units,” said William Marth, president and chief executive officer of Teva North America. “The respiratory therapy area has been identified as a key growth area given the incidence of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Our collaboration with UCB, a company known for excellence in the respiratory market, will help us achieve a stronger presence in this growing therapeutic area.”
Study shows infrared thermometer helps cut down on diabetic foot ulcers
WASHINGTON A new study published last month in the American Journal of Medicine showed that a new infrared digital thermometer decreases the chance of a diabetic receiving a foot ulcer, according to published reports.
Foot ulcers each year strike 600,000 U.S. diabetics, who are slow to notice they even have a wound because diabetes has numbed their feet. Worse, foot ulcers are so slow healing and vulnerable to infection that they’re to blame for most of the roughly 80,000 amputations of toes, feet and lower legs that diabetics undergo each year.
Using the thermometer reduced the number of high-risk patients who got foot ulcers by nearly two-thirds, according to Armstrong who studied 225 diabetic veterans.
The thermometer works by measuring the difference in temperature around the foot, looking for hot spots that can signal inflammation, which correlates to tissue injury. Patients measure half a dozen spots on each foot. When the thermometer signals a hot spot, they put up their feet for a day or so until the temperature normalizes. Easing pressure before the skin cracks lets the body heal more easily than it can with a full-blown wound.
“Heat is one of the most sensitive things, one of the first things that happens when we begin to have tissue breakdown,” says Crystal Holmes, a University of Michigan podiatrist who has begun prescribing the thermometers.
The results of the study, which took place over 18 months, showed that 12.2 percent of patients who did standard foot checks got ulcers, compared to 4.7 percent of those who used the thermometers.
The thermometer, called the TempTouch and made by Xilas, is currently available by prescription only.
AstraZeneca to conduct comparison between Crestor and Lipitor
LONDON AstraZeneca announced that it will conduct a clinical trial comparing its cholesterol-fighting drug Crestor with Pfizer’s cholesterol drug Lipitor, the world’s best selling drug, according to Reuters.
The new trial, called SATURN, would compare the drugs’ ability to reduce the progression, or induce regression, of atherosclerosis, the main cause of cardiovascular disease, following two years of treatment in patients with coronary artery disease. Crestor was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration to fight atherosclerosis.
AstraZeneca said the first of around 1,300 patients in the SATURN trial would be enrolled later this month and the study was expected to complete in 2011.
Lipitor had sales of $12.9 billion, compared to Crestor’s $2 billion in 2006.