HEALTH

Bionovo, Berkeley researcher receive NIH grant to develop obesity drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

EMERYVILLE, Calif. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine’s small-business technology transfer program, part of the National Institutes of Health, has given a researcher and a drug maker a grant to develop drugs for obesity and metabolic syndrome in women.

 

Drug maker Bionovo announced Thursday it received the grant, which it will share with University of California at Berkeley researcher Dale Leitman. The grant will fund the first phase of a study to evaluate Bionovo’s drug based on plant tissue as a prevention for female-specific obesity and metabolic syndrome, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

 

 

Menopause in women often results in weight gain of 10 lbs. to 15 lbs. and redistribution of fat to the abdomen, which can lead to inflammation and metabolic syndrome.

 

 

“Gender differences in health and disease are widely known, yet they have not been sufficiently explored by the biopharmaceutical industry,” Bionovo chairman and CEO Isaac Cohen said. “The potential market for drugs for the treatment of female obesity is enormous.”

 

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Sensa products to hit GNC shelves

BY Michael Johnsen

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. Sensa Products on Wednesday announced the launch of its Sensa weight-loss system through GNC, marking the first time Sensa will be available at retail.

“GNC has consistently been at the forefront of the nutrition and weight-loss industry,” stated Don Ressler, CEO of Sensa Products. “With its commitment to quality products and customer service, GNC is the perfect retail partner for Sensa.”

Added Tasso Koken, GNC’s EVP merchandising, “Sensa’s clinical studies are an important addition to the weight-loss segment. We look forward to working with Sensa to broaden the market for these innovative products. GNC has traditionally been a leader in diet supplement products, and this national retail launch of the Sensa line will certainly continue that tradition.”

GNC will launch the 60-day Sensa kit in stores and the entire Sensa product line will be available on GNC.com.

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FDA approves Sun’s generic Strattera

BY Allison Cerra

MUMBAI, India A generic drug maker has received regulatory approval for its version of an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatment.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries’ subsidiary has received approval to market its generic version of Strattera (atomoxetine hydrochloride capsules), an ADHD drug for children ages 6 years and older, as well as teens and adults. Strattera is made and marketed by Eli Lilly.

Annual sales of branded and generic atomoxetine hydrochloride capsules are estimated to be more than $530 million.

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