HEALTH

American Heart Association says omega-6 fatty acids can improve heart health

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS The American Heart Association on Tuesday highlighted science advisory published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association touting the benefits of omega-6 fatty acids to heart health.

The association recommends that people aim to incorporate at least 5% to 10% of their daily calories from omega-6 fatty acids. Most Americans actually get enough of these oils in the foods they are currently eating, including nuts, cooking oils and salad dressings, the advisory reported.

Recommended daily servings of omega-6 depend on physical activity level, age and gender, but range from 12 to 22 g per day.

Omega-6, and the similarly named omega-3 fatty acids (found in fattier fish such as tuna, mackerel and salmon), are called polyunsaturated fatty acids and can have health benefits when consumed in the recommended amounts, especially when used to replace saturated fats or trans fats in the diet.

Omega-6 and omega-3 PUFA play a crucial role in heart and brain function and in normal growth and development. PUFA are “essential” fats that your body needs but can’t produce, so you must get them from food.

 “Of course, as with any news about a single nutrient, it’s important to remember to focus on an overall healthy dietary pattern — one nutrient or one type of food isn’t a cure-all,” stated William Harris, lead author of the advisory. “Our goal was simply to let Americans know that foods containing omega-6 fatty acids can be part of a healthy diet and can even help improve your cardiovascular risk profile.”

There has been some debate within the nutrition community regarding the benefits of omega-6 based on the belief that they may promote inflammation, thus increasing cardiovascular risk, AHA noted. “That idea is based more on assumptions and extrapolations than on hard data,” Harris said.

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Abbott to commence cash tender offer for Advanced Medical Optics

BY Michael Johnsen

ABOTT PARK, Ill. Abbott will commence on Tuesday a cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of common stock of Advanced Medical Optics at $22 per share on Jan. 27, in a deal worth approximately $2.8 billion, the company announced Monday.

Abbott and AMO announced the proposed merger earlier this month. “With AMO, Abbott is enhancing and strengthening its diverse mix of medical device businesses and gaining a leadership position in another large and growing segment,” stated Miles White, Abbott chairman and CEO, in announcing the deal Jan. 12. “Additionally, Abbott’s significant global presence will help drive growth opportunities for this business, especially in international markets, where favorable demographics are driving demand for advanced eye care procedures and products.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust clearances. Abbott and AMO expect the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2009.

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SCOLR announces issue of Complete Response letter by FDA for its Abbreviated New Drug Application

BY Michael Johnsen

BOTHELL, Wash. SCOLR Pharma last week announced that the Food and Drug Administration recently issued a Complete Response letter regarding its Abbreviated New Drug Application for a controlled-delivery formulation of pseudoephedrine.

“We are pleased that the FDA has moved so quickly to review our application,” stated Tanya Raco, SCOLR associate VP regulatory affairs and quality assurance. “If approved, this would be SCOLR’s first successful product application, but more importantly, it would provide additional validation for our underlying technology.”

SCOLR currently is in discussions with potential partners for an alliance for this product, but is still open to talk with other companies about this opportunity, the company stated.

The application, filed by SCOLR Aug. 5, seeks approval to market a 120-mg, 12-hour pseudoephedrine tablet based on its patented Controlled Delivery Technology platform. The Complete Response letter requests additional information, all of which was identified by the FDA as “minor,” the company stated.

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