Zydus, Prolong sign deal to develop anemia treatment
AHMEDABAD, India Zydus Cadila and Prolong Pharmaceuticals have signed a development deal for a therapeutic protein, PEG-EPO, for the treatment of severe anemia, according to published reports.
Under the terms of the deal, both companies will use Prolong’s PEGylation technology to make PEG-EPO.
Severe anemia is a condition where the hemoglobin level or number of circulating red blood cells is significantly reduced. This is common in chronic renal failure, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, chronic inflammatory diseases, heart failure, and critically ill patients.
Harvard program seeks to discourage doctors from prescribing pediatric antibiotics
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. A program was conducted at the Harvard Medical School in an effort to change doctors’ prescribing habits for antibiotics and to educate parents of small children about the proper use of antibiotics, according to Reuters.
The program was initiated because of the emergence of microbes that are resistant to antibiotics because doctors prescribed the medications when they weren’t really needed.
Harvard Medical School’s Jonathan Finkelstein and colleagues conducted the program in 16 Massachusetts communities between 1988 and 2003. Finkelstein’s team measured changes in antibiotic prescribing rates among three groups of children: 3 to 24 months, 24 to 48 months, and 48 to 72 months.
By the end of the study, the intervention had not changed the rate of antibiotic use in the youngest group, but for children between 24 and 48 months, the rates decreased by 4.2 percent and for the oldest children, the rates decreased by 6.7 percent.
Patent office rejects Gilead patents for Viread
WASHINGTON The Patent and Trademark Office has tentatively rejected four patents for Gilead Sciences’ HIV drug Viread, according to published reports.
The Public Patent Foundation filed a petition in March seeking to revoke the patents for the drug because they felt the drug should never have been patented in the first place, as the technology used to make the drug had been previously disclosed publicly.
The PTO is now re-examining the patents. Industry experts have said that it is common for the federal agency to tentatively rule patents invalid after having been asked by a third party to re-examine them. What would be unlikely would be the patents being permanently revoked, which has only occurred about 10 percent of the time.
Gilead sells Viread under that name and in combination with other drugs as Truvada and Atripla. Taken together, the three HIV treatments generated $3.1 billion in sales last year, according to the company.