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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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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Weis Markets announces immunization offerings

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets on Tuesday announced it would begin offering flu shots in its in-store pharmacies starting this week. The shots will be administered by its trained and certified pharmacist immunizers through the company’s WeisCare Adult Immunization Services program.

“With our certified pharmacist immunizers, it has never been easier to get a flu shot in a Weis Markets’ store; walk-up immunizations are now available in our pharmacies, and we’re also offering our WeisCare Adult Immunization services to businesses and senior centers in the communities that we serve,” Jeff Maltese, Weis Markets’ VP pharmacy, stated.

The shots are available at Weis Markets’ 120 in-store pharmacies and are available to those 18 years of age and older. For most senior citizens, flu shots are covered by Medicare Part B and Part D. Every flu shot recipient also will receive a money-saving coupon booklet valued at $37, the grocer stated.

Weis Markets pharmacies also offer immunization services for pneumonia, shingles, meningitis, tetanus/diptheria/whooping cough and hepatitis A and B per state regulation.

Later in the fall, Weis Markets also will host 65 flu-shot clinics in its stores.

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