PHARMACY

Chapman University, KGI to develop school of biopharmacy

BY Allison Cerra

CLAREMONT, Calif. — Chapman University and Keck Graduate Institute are set to establish a school of biopharmacy at the KGI campus in Claremont, Calif.

The school, which is slated to open in fall 2014, will focus on preparing graduate pharmacists for professions in biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry as well as for modern pharmacy practice.

"This collaboration is a remarkable opportunity," said James Doti, president of Chapman University. "It builds on KGI’s innovative professional master’s and postdoctoral programs and close biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry ties, and takes advantage of Chapman’s strengths in computational sciences and entrepreneurship."

The two universities have begun a national search for an entrepreneurial founding dean. The first classes for the Chapman-KGI School of BioPharmacy will be held on the KGI campus in Claremont, while Chapman pursues construction of a 120,000-sq.-ft. Science Center in Orange, Calif.

"The Chapman-KGI School of BioPharmacy will embrace this change in the profession," said Sheldon Schuster, president and professor of biochemistry at Keck Graduate Institute. "Current advances in genomics and the growing convergence of therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices are creating new opportunities for pharmacists in the life-sciences industry and modern clinical practice. This new school will help prepare highly qualified individuals to take advantage of those opportunities."


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PHARMACY

Takeda’s investigational diabetes drug helps reduce HbA1C levels

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — An investigational diabetes therapy made by Takeda helped lower HbA1C levels among patients with Type 2 diabetes, the drug maker said.

The mid-stage clinical trial, which included 426 patients, showed TAK-875, a selective agonist of GPR40 — one of the orphan G-protein-coupled receptors expressed in pancreatic islet cells — demonstrated its ability to stimulate insulin in a glucose-dependent manner over a 12-week period, with minimum risk of hypoglycemia. Patients were either given doses ranging from 6.25-mg to 200-mg a day or 4-mg of placebo glimepiride.

"As glucose control in many patients with Type 2 diabetes continues to remain suboptimal, it is important to work to identify new mechanisms of action in an effort to improve treatment options," said Thomas Strack, development therapeutic area head of metabolic at Takeda. "Because of its observed ability to potently stimulate insulin secretion and improve glycemic control with less or no hypoglycemia, these data further support TAK-875 as a potential therapy for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes in the future."

These data were presented at the American Diabetes Association 71st Annual Scientific Sessions and published in The Lancet. The drug now is moving forward into phase-3 clinical development.


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PHARMACY

Endo integrates business units, plans name change

BY Alaric DeArment

CHADDS FORD, Pa. — Endo’s parent company is looking to change its name and will integrate four of its operating units, the drug maker said Thursday.

Endo said the company, currently called Endo Pharmaceutical Holdings, would ask shareholders to approve changing the name to Endo Health Solutions at its annual shareholder meeting in May.

Endo also aggregated AMS, its medical device unit; Endo Pharmaceuticals, its branded drug unit; HealthTronics, its medical services unit; and Qualitest, its generic drugs unit. The company said the four would share "visual and verbal identity standards" with that of the parent company.

"With the right organizations in place, we have modernized our four distinct operating companies into an enterprise that reflects a powerful combination of compatible organizations aimed at delivering fully integrated healthcare solutions for the benefit of physicians, payers and patients," Endo president and CEO Dave Holveck said. "We are excited to be setting a new standard for healthcare solutions delivery."


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