PHARMACY

FDA accepts approval application from Eli Lilly, Amylin for new diabetes drug

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Headline clarification: On Aug. 19, a headline on DrugStoreNews.com incorrectly identified Amgen as part of a partnership with Eli Lilly in the development of a new diabetes drug. Amylin is actually Eli Lilly’s partner on the new drug, a long-acting version of exenatide for Type 2 diabetes.

The Food and Drug Administration has accepted an approval application for a once-weekly formulation of an injectable diabetes drug, according to published reports.

The FDA will consider approval of a long-acting version of exenatide as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes. The drug is made by Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co., San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Cambridge, Mass.-based Alkermes, according to Renal and Urology News. Exenatide is the same active ingredient in the drug Byetta, already approved as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

Results of a phase 3 trial announced last month indicated that once-weekly exenatide provided better glucose control than Sanofi-Aventis’ Lantus (insulin glargine [rDNA origin]).

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Researchers discover ways to prevent infection of cells

BY Alaric DeArment

MADISON, Wis. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a way to block biological communications between cells that lead to viral infections and tumors.

In a study supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of researchers from UW-Madison and other universities created a set of synthetic molecules that interacted with the HIV protein gp41 to prevent the infection of cells. Several viruses, including HIV, Ebola and influenza, use interactions between viral and cellular proteins to infect cells.

“There’s a lot of information transfer that occurs when proteins come together, and one would often like to block that information flow,” UW-Madison chemistry professor Samuel Gellman said in a statement.

While it remains unclear whether this method can be used to create anti-HIV drugs, Gellman said it did could potentially lead to new ways of thinking about designing antiviral drug molecules.

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Behavioral Health Central to relaunch Web portal

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. In an effort to bring together clinicians, patients, payers, executives and administrators on one central Web portal, Behavioral Health Central is relaunching the www.BehavioralHealthCentral.com site.

The new Web portal provides industry and clinical news, resources and tools, and social networking capabilities designed to bring together all of the major stakeholders in behavioral healthcare. 

“This new genesis of our site brings everyone to the table so they all have access to similar resources and information,” stated Jim Miller, president of BHC. “It’s a recognition that, in the end, we’re all striving for the same thing — better treatment pathways, leading to improved outcomes for patients.”

Another key feature of the new site is the addition of nationwide directories that allow professionals and consumers to quickly locate treatment facilities, therapists, vendors, drug information, association lists and more.

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