Biogen Idec inks ALS treatment deal with Knopp
PITTSBURGH Swiss drug maker Biogen Idec will develop and commercialize an investigational drug as a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, under a partnership with Knopp Neurosciences, the two companies said Wednesday.
Biogen Idec said the drug, KNS-760704 (dexpramipexole), is expected to enter phase-3 clinical trials during the first half of next year. In a phase-2 study conducted by Knopp, the drug preserved motor function and extended survival in ALS patients. Sanofi-Aventis’ drug Rilutek (riluzole) was approved to treat ALS in 1995, and Impax Labs makes a generic version. The disease, which causes rapid muscular degeneration and wasting, affects 20,000 Americans.
The Food and Drug Administration has granted KNS-760704 orphan drug and fast-track designations. The FDA gives orphan-drug designation to drugs for treating diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States, while fast track expedites review of applications for drugs that treat serious and life-threatening conditions while showing potential to address unmet medical needs.
Under the terms of the agreement, Biogen Idec will purchase $60 million of Knopp stock and pay the company $20 million upfront, as well as up to $265 million in milestone payments, in addition to royalties on potential sales.
New mobile application keeps pharmacy customers in touch
FORT WORTH, Texas Pharmacy technology company PDX and mobile application maker Acclaim Telecom Services will integrate Acclaim’s Smart Mobile RX application with PDX pharmacy systems.
The integration will allow pharmacies to reach patients through text messages, emails and voice reminders regarding refills and other services. The product will be shown at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Pharmacy and Technology Conference in San Diego later this month.
“By partnering with PDX, Acclaim’s Smart Mobile RX can be rapidly deployed by pharmacies across the spectrum of mobile phones in use by consumers,” Acclaim president James Davis said in a statement. “Pharmacy smart phone customers have the added benefit of downloading a branded mobile application from their respective phone providers’ application store.”
Richard Salazar joins Pharmacy First’s Rx$hare program
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. A national network of retail community pharmacies has named a new manufacturer contracting director for a retail program designed to generate significant, incremental revenue for such businesses.
Pharmacy First announced Monday that Richard Salazar would join its Rx$hare program. Salazar will be responsible for all manufacturer contracts and programs under the Rx$hare program banner, which include market share programs, awareness programs, launch programs and Compliance Services, a direct-mail, patient-focused adherence model.
Prior to joining Pharmacy First, Salazar was national director of Rx and business development for AmerisourceBergen for six years.
“Clearly, with the retail pharmacy arena changing so quickly, we needed a person who knows the terrain and has contacts throughout the pharma industry. Additionally, we needed a person who understands the value of making and maintaining solid business relationships,” said Brian Huckle, Wholesale Alliance/Pharmacy First CEO. “Our board of directors is excited about getting someone like Rick to join our team, and we remain extremely excited about the opportunities available for independent pharmacies, and the solutions Pharmacy First offers to them.”