PHARMACY

Abbott to study use of Humira in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa

BY Allison Cerra

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Abbott is set to enroll patients into two late-stage clinical trials designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of one of its drugs as a treatment for a difficult-to-treat chronic inflammatory skin disease.

Abbott said it will start to enroll patients in two phase-3 trials — M11-313 and M11-810 — which will examine the investigational use of Humira (adalimumab) in adults with moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa, a disease characterized by painful, recurrent abscesses and nodules that primarily appear in the groin or under the armpits or breasts. The abscesses and nodules start out as tender, swollen bumps and over time, these lesions can fill with fluid, burst and result in scars, pain and discomfort, Abbott said.

The 36-week, multinational, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies will include approximately 600 patients with moderate to severe HS and will be conducted at approximately 50 sites worldwide, including sites in Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States.

"Ten years ago, Humira was approved for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis and since then has achieved five additional indications to treat millions of patients across a range of immune diseases," said John Medich, divisional VP clinical developmentof immunology at Abbott. "Abbott is committed to investigating adalimumab as a treatment option for patients with hidradenitis suppurativa, and these studies represent another important step in continuing this exploration."


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PHARMACY

Amneal launches liquid generic Lexapro

BY Allison Cerra

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Amneal Pharmaceuticals has launched a generic version of an antidepressant made by Forest Labs.

The drug maker announced the launch of escitalopram oxalate oral solution in 5-mg/5-mL strength in a peppermint flavor, the company said. The product is a therapeutically equivalent alternative to Lexapro and also marks the first generic version of the drug in liquid form on the market.

Amneal said it has begun shipping the product and is available to wholesalers, distributors, as well as directly to the trade.


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FDA approves generic version of Lexapro

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRINGS, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic version of an antidepressant made by Forest Labs, the agency said Wednesday.

The FDA announced the approval of a generic version of Lexapro (escitalopram) made by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in the 5-mg, 10-mg and 20-mg strengths. The drug is used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder in adults.

"These psychiatric conditions can be disabling and prevent a person from doing everyday activities," FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director Janet Woodcock said. "This medication is widely used by people who must manage their condition over time, so it is important to have affordable treatment options."

Lexapro had sales of $2.8 billion in 2010, according to IMS Health.


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