PHARMACY

Study finds link between radiation therapy in children, diabetes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Children with cancer who undergo a common cancer therapy may be at increased risk of developing diabetes, according to research published recently in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers at Emory University found that childhood cancer survivors who had received total-body or abdominal radiation therapy had increased risk of developing cancer, with the risk increasing more than twofold if they received a cancer diagnosis before age 5, compared with those diagnosed in late adolescence. Out of a total of 8,599 survivors diagnosed before age 21, 2.5% developed diabetes, compared with 1.7% of their 2,936 siblings, apparently regardless of body mass index.

“It is likely that this additional chronic disease in childhood cancer survivors, who frequently also sustain damage to the heart, kidneys and endocrine system, will lead to further morbidity and premature mortality,” the authors of the study wrote. “Therefore, it is imperative that clinicians recognize this risk, screen for diabetes and prediabetes when appropriate and approach survivors with aggressive risk-reducing strategies.”

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Endo’s COO resigns

BY Alaric DeArment

CHADDS FORD, Pa. The COO of generic drug company Endo Pharmaceuticals has announced her resignation, the company announced Wednesday.

Endo said COO Nancy Wysenski will resign effective Sept. 1 to attend to family matters.

“I thank Nancy Wysenski for her contributions to the successful transition of Endo over the past two years,” CEO David Holveck said in a statement. “She has been instrumental in supporting our strong revenue growth, the diversification of the business and in strengthening our commercial capabilities.”

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AstraZeneca, Forest Labs to develop ceftaroline

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Two drug companies have announced an agreement to develop a drug for treating drug-resistant bacterial infections.

New York-based Forest Labs and Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca said Wednesday that they would work together to develop and commercialize ceftaroline in markets outside the United States, Canada and Japan.

The drug, currently in late-stage clinical trials, is designed to treat complicated skin structure infections and community-acquired bacterial pneumonia caused by bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and multi-drug resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae. Forest hopes to file an approval application with the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year, while AstraZeneca hopes to file one for Europe by the end of next year.

Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will pay Forest a signing fee, royalties from sales and milestone payments and assume responsibility for development, approval and commercialization of ceftaroline in the areas covered by the agreement. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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