PHARMACY

NovaBay partners with medical professors to advance treatment development

BY Alaric DeArment

EMERYVILLE, Calif. An American drug maker that develops drugs to treat and prevent infections has entered a partnership with professors from the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria.

NovaBay Pharmaceuticals announced the partnership Wednesday with professors Waldemar Gottardi and Markus Nagl. NovaBay aims to advance development of its Aganocide compounds by integrating its development program with the university’s clinical work.

The Aganocide compounds are synthetic analogs of N-chlorotaurine, also known as NCT, an antimicrobial compound produced in the body’s white blood cells. Nagl and Gottardi have conducted extensive clinical research and produced patents and publications for several years on the use of the compound.

“We are very excited to collaborate with this world-class research team and pleased to draw on the extensive experience of professors Gottardi and Nagl in understanding the role of our class of molecules in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases,” NovaBay chairman and CEO Ron Najafi said. “We look forward to building on their work to further expand the range of clinical opportunities provided by our Aganocide compound platform.”

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Merck & Co. reports 8% Q1 worldwide sales drop

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Merck & Co. said its merger with Schering-Plough was “progressing as planned” in its first quarter 2009 financial report Tuesday.

That news coincided with worldwide sales of $5.4 billion, an 8% decrease from the same period last year, including a 3% decrease due to foreign exchange rates, reduced by a further 3% due to the loss of market exclusivity for the osteoporosis drug Fosamax (alendronate sodium). Net income for the quarter was $1.425 billion, compared with $3.3 billion in first quarter 2008.

The company reported augmenting its pipeline by signing agreements with Insmed, Cardiome, Santen, Medarex and Massachusetts Biologic Labs, but delayed filing for regulatory approval of the investigational migraine drug telcagepant.

“Our first-quarter results in part reflect the impact of the difficult global economy on patients, providers and payers, but we remain on track to meet our full-year earnings guidance,” president and CEO Richard Clark stated. “We believe our planned merger with Schering-Plough will accelerate Merck’s transformation into a global healthcare leader, built for sustainable growth and success.”

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N.Y. seeks to ban cigarettes at pharmacies

BY Alaric DeArment

ALBANY, N.Y. Smokers in New York state soon may find a narrower range of sources of their habit.

A bill introduced in the state’s legislature would ban the sale of tobacco at retail pharmacies and stores that operate pharmacies, including supermarkets and mass merchandisers.

The bill follows similar laws enacted in San Francisco and Boston, but would be the first statewide bill.

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