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AstraZeneca’s Brilinta now available

BY Alaric DeArment

WILMINGTON, Del. — A new drug made by AstraZeneca is available in pharmacies following its regulatory approval in July, the company said Monday.

AstraZeneca announced the availability of the anti-platelet drug Brilinta (ticagrelor) for reducing the rate of thrombotic cardiovascular events in patients with acute coronary syndrome.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Brilinta on July 20. AstraZeneca said the drug has been shown to reduce the rates of cardiovascular death, heart attacks and stroke, compared with other drugs on the market.

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Solantic’s expansion plans further illustrate growing need for alternative sites of care

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The other side of the retail clinic phenomenon is urgent care, which also is growing as the need for alternative sites of care becomes more apparent, and providers look to fill the gaps in health care. This is why it is important to note the news of Solantic’s expansion plans.

(THE NEWS: Solantic announces statewide hiring. For the full story, click here)

Florida-based urgent care provider Solantic is planning to offer more than 50 new jobs throughout the state. Since its inception in 2002, Solantic has expanded from four northeast Florida locations to more than 30 centers located throughout the state.

The news follows June’s sale of the privately owned medical care centers to private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. Soon after the sale, the New York-based firm formed a new management team, appointing Michael Klein president and CEO, and naming Karen Bowling, Solantic co-founder and former CEO, as senior strategic adviser.

Prior to his role at Solantic, Klein, a management executive with achievements in sales, operations and organizational development, was president and CEO of Renal Advantage, a 154-center dialysis company operating in 19 states.

With solid financial backing in place, Klein stated in June that the company’s intentions would be to continue to grow in its existing markets, as well as open new markets. Clearly, that plan has been set in motion.

With about 30 million uninsured gaining healthcare coverage under healthcare reform and the need for alternative sites of care on the rise, it is clear that growth in the number of clinics — both urgent care and retail-based facilities — is on the horizon.

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FDA approves first new Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment in 34 years

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new biotech drug for treating two types of lymphoma, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Seattle Genetics’ Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a rare lymphoma called systemic anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. Adcetris combines an antibody with a drug, allowing the antibody to direct the drug to CD30, a target on lymphoma cells. The FDA said Adcetris was the first new treatment approved by the agency for HL since 1977 and the first approved specifically for ALCL.

The drug is designed for use by patients whose HL has progressed after stem-cell transplant or two chemotherapy treatments, as well as ALCL patients whose disease has progressed after one chemotherapy treatment.

"Early clinical data suggest that patients who received Adcetris for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and systemic anaplastic lymphoma experienced a significant response to the therapy," FDA Office of Oncology Products director Richard Pazdur said.

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