PHARMACY

Barr challenges Alcon patent on conjunctivitis drug

BY Adam Kraemer

BANGALORE, India Following an Alcon lawsuit against Barr Pharmaceuticals seeking to block Barr’s generic version of Patanol (olopatadine), Barr announced Thursday that it filed a patent challenge of the drug, Reuters reported.

Barr had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in September for Patanol, a conjunctivitis drug. With the application, Barr had filed a paragraph IV certification, of which it notified Alcon, the patent holder, Barr stated.

A paragraph IV certification states that the generic version of the drug will not infringe the patent of the brand version, or, conversely, that the patent is invalid.

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PHARMACY

GSK ready to cut jobs following quarterly losses

BY Drew Buono

PHILADELPHIA GlaxoSmithKline is ready to let some of its workers go to make up for its recent report of lost earnings.

The company reported that total pharmaceutical turnover for the third quarter fell by 2% to $9.4 billion. In the United States, turnover fell 7% to $4.5 billion, impacted by continued generic competition and largely because of a 38 percent drop in sales of its diabetes drug Avandia.

The plan is a three-year $1.4 billion move that includes job cuts, most likely starting at its Avandia sales force. According to the London Times, the company is awaiting what the Food and Drug Administration will report about their findings on Avandia and if it should receive a “black box” warning for heart attack risks.

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FDA approves Marillion NDA for novel cancer treatment

BY Drew Buono

MALVERN, Pa. Marillion Pharmaceuticals has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for it investigational new drug application for its lead product candidate MN-201, a vitamin D5 analog for the treatment of cancer.

The drug will now proceed to Phase 1 human clinical trial for patients with advanced tumors in various cancers.

In preclinical studies, MN-201 performed well against cancer cells. In animal models, MN-201 also resulted in anti-tumor activity including tumor regression in xenograft models of major solid tumor types. In contrast to treatment with other vitamin D(3) analogs and the naturally occurring vitamin D hormone, calcitriol, favorable anticancer effects with MN-201 were observed in the absence of significantly raised calcium levels.

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