Vical gets grant for Phase II herpes vaccine test
SAN DIEGO The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases department from the National Institutes of Health has awarded Vical a $2 million Phase II technology transfer grant, according to published reports.
The grant is to fund an ongoing development of Vical’s plasmid DNA vaccine against herpes simplex virus type 2, which causes genital herpes.
The goal of the study is to see if they can control or eliminate periodic herpes viral flare-ups and associated viral shedding and transmission to people who already have the virus.
Rite Aid posts sales increase for March
CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday reported a same-store sales increase of 2.6 percent (which does not yet include the Brooks/Eckerd acquired stores) for the four weeks ended March 29.
Pharmacy same-store sales increased 1 percent, which included an approximate 493 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions. Front-end same-store sales were up 5.7 percent. March same store sales were positively affected by a shift to a March Easter this year from an April Easter last year (March 23 this year as compared to April 8 last year).
Total drug store sales for the four-week period increased 50.7 percent to $2 billion. Prescription revenue accounted for 67.6 percent of drugstore sales, and third party prescription revenue represented 96.2 percent of pharmacy sales.
FDA grants orphan designation for MELAS syndrome drug
WASHINGTON Sirtris Pharmaceuticals has been granted orphan drug designation for resveratrol by the Food and Drug Administration, according to published reports.
Resveratrol is a drug used to treat MELAS syndrome, a progressive fatal aging disease that produces symptoms of muscle weakness, fatigue, recurrent headaches and seizures. The government’s grant is usually offered in cases in which companies are discovering treatments for rare drugs, and the grant would allow the company to speed up their testing period.
Sitris has decided to focus on the SIRT1 gene, which is a gene tied to the aging process. SIRT1 is being studied as a possible source in treating MELAS or type 2 diabetes. According to published reports, the grant has resulted in Sitris being offered seven years of marketing exclusivity for its formulation of resveratrol.