PHARMACY

Amgen’s prostate cancer drug more effective than competitor, study concludes

BY Alaric DeArment

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. An investigational drug made by Amgen for treating prostate cancer that had spread to the bones worked better than an existing drug made by Novartis, according to late-stage clinical trial results that Amgen announced Monday.

Amgen was comparing denosumab with Novartis’ Zometa (zoledronic acid) in a phase 3 trial of 1,901 patients with prostate cancer. The biotech company said the drug, a monoclonal antibody, worked better in delaying the amount of time it took for patients to suffer bone complications, while adverse side effects occurred at similar rates. The trial is one of three involving a total of more than 5,700 cancer patients.

“These phase 3 results demonstrate the ability of denosumab to delay bone complications in patients suffering from metastatic prostate cancer,” Amgen EVP research and development Roger Perlmutter stated. “Denosumab has shown remarkable consistency in reducing the serious complications of bone metastases.”

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PHARMACY

Pfizer teams up with Keas

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Drug maker Pfizer will work with health information service Keas to allow health-and-wellness experts to write, sell and distribute personalized online care plans directly to patients, the two companies announced Monday.

Keas is a company that provides care plans written by pharmacists, doctors and nutritionists. Companies that have published care plans on Keas have included CVS MinuteClinic, DiabetesMine, HealthWise and Dr. Greene Pediatrics. The Web site includes a personalized “dashboard” that allows users to keep track of their personal health goals and help them make healthcare decisions.

“Our partnership with Keas demonstrates Pfizer’s commitment to invest in innovative and game-changing solutions that empower patients and physicians to further engage in the patient’s health,” Pfizer SVP worldwide strategy and innovation Kristin Peck said. “This is a further testimony of Pfizer’s commitment to remain the partner of choice for entrepreneurs and innovators.”

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Cornerstone moves drug testing site for investigational cancer treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

CRANBURY, N.J. Early- and mid-stage clinical trials of an investigational drug for treating cancer have a new testing site, the drug’s developer said Monday.

Privately owned drug maker Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals announced that the phase 1 and phase 2 trials of the drug CPI-613 would include a site owned by Pivotal Research Centers in Peoria, Ariz. CPI-613 is part of a new drug class developed using Cornerstone’s Altered Energy Metabolism Directed technology platform designed to target metabolic changes that may be common to many cancer types. The Food and Drug Administration has given the drug orphan drug status for pancreatic cancer.

“This is a very significant development for our company as we expand the clinical trials of CPI-613 and continue to partner with institutions that share our vision of helping people to better manage their affliction,” Cornerstone CEO Robert Shorr said.

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