HEALTH

Annual AHS meeting showcases new migraine solutions

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON It may look like a pillow for robots, but a new device uses magnetic pulses to provide relief for migraine headaches.

It’s among the latest technologies for treating migraines being presented this weekend at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society.

New drugs being tested include CGRP antagonists, designed for migraine patients who don’t respond to the more popular triptans.

Another new technology is occipital nerve stimulation, where an electrode is inserted under the skin in back of the neck, using electrical impulses to stop the nerve signals that cause the perception of pain.

The device that looks like a robot pillow uses transcranial magnetic stimulation. Held to the back of the head as a migraine headache starts, it sends two magnetic pulses to the brain, thus blocking the migraine headache.

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MSUSA tapped to manage Florastor in U.S.

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN BRUNO, Calif. Biocodex on Wednesday announced that it has enlisted the services of Morgan & Sampson USA to help manage its growth and distribution of the probiotics Florastor and Florastor Kids into the U.S.

“Our initial foray into U.S. markets was a conservative one, but Florastor has proven to be very well-received in this country, and we have enjoyed an impressive growth in sales, supported solely by our team of sales consultants,” stated Mary Berry, U.S. marketing manager for Biocodex. 

MSUSA will act as a liaison with wholesale drug and pharmacy retailers nationally. ”By joining with MSUSA, we are able to expose Florastor to the widest retail audience within the U.S. market to ensure that consumers will be able to easily find the product,” commented Dan Harper, Biocodex national sales manager. 

Florastor was first introduced into the U.S. market in 2003 and the pediatric line extension was launched in 2005. In that time, the brand has experienced 75 percent annual growth, the company stated, crediting that growth to increased awareness of the probiotic category and doctor recommendations.

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Kemeta completes first test of fat metabolism monitor

BY Michael Johnsen

MESA, Ariz. Kemeta on Tuesday announced the successful completion of its first clinical testing of their Fat Burn Monitor, a monitor that measures a person’s fat metabolism immediately after exercise by measuring acetone on the breath.

“The Kemeta product allows our patients to monitor their daily progress, providing the needed immediate feedback to keep them motivated to continue their weight management regimen,” stated John Hernried, Obesity Treatment Center Medical Group medical director and principal investigator on the project.

The 11-week IRB-approved study showed that individuals can receive an immediate indication of their fat burn rate by simply blowing into the Kemeta device. The study also showed a greater-than-90-percent correlation of the Fat Burn Monitor to the Gas Chromatograph, an industry standard bench-top tool used for breath analysis.

The device functions by measuring the concentration of the chemical acetone in the breath. Acetone is produced as fat is metabolized in the body. The simple non-invasive acetone measurement allows the user to track the success of their weight management program.

“This initial study with the OTCMG indicates the efficacy of our technology,” stated Barb Landini, Kemeta vice president of research and development and clinical testing.

The product is expected to reach front-end retailers sometime in 2009, the company stated.

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