PHARMACY

Biogen Idec, Elan release data on safety of Tysarbi

BY Drew Buono

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Biogen Idec and Elan have announced that they have new data on the global utilization and safety of Tysarbi, which states that as of the end of September about 17,000 patients were on a commercial and clinical therapy, and that the safety data continue to support the drug,

Tysarbi is a treatment for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis in the U.S. and for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in the European Union. The drug is available stateside through the Tysarbi Outreach Unified Commitment to Health, in which patients enroll to be able to take the drug.

Another program used to keep track of patient information is, the Tysarbi Global ObseRvation Program In Safety, which works in part with TOUCH.

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PHARMACY

Synta and GSK enter into $1.1 billion deal

BY Drew Buono

LONDON and LEXINGTON, Mass. Synta Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline have agreed on a collaboration for the joint development and commercialization of STA-4783, a new drug entering phase-three clinical development for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will share responsibility for the development and commercialization of the drug in the United States, with GlaxoSmithKline having exclusive rights outside of the United States.  Synta can earn up to $1.1 billion as a result of this agreement in development, upfront payments, stock purchases and milestone payments.

“This agreement confirms GSK’s growing status as a world leader in the development of new oncology medicines for use in the treatment, prevention and supportive care of cancer patients.  It further strengthens our late stage oncology pipeline, which currently includes ten phase-three programs, and also demonstrates our commitment to identifying compounds that have the potential to deliver real benefit to patients,” said Moncef Slaoui, chairman of research and development at GSK.  “The data we have seen from the phase-two trials conducted by Synta have given us confidence in the potential of STA-4783 as a novel means of treating metastatic melanoma, a disease for which there is high unmet medical need.”

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PHARMACY

CMS updates Medicare Part D Web site

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has updated its Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder, so that senior citizens and other beneficiaries can begin to review 2008 Part D drug plans.

The finder offers beneficiaries a chance to compare drug plans and health plans, view premiums, formularies and availability of coverage in the gap.  CMS wanted to make the finder as easy as possible to use and provide as much information as possible so that beneficiaries are ready before the open enrollment begins on Nov. 15.

The finder is at www.medicare.gov.

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