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Clinical trial finds Erbitux as first-line cancer treatment boosts survival rate

BY Alaric DeArment

BERLIN A biotech drug for treating cancer increased patient survival to nearly two years when added to a chemotherapy treatment, according to an analysis of an international phase 3 clinical trial conducted by Merck KGaA.

The analysis showed that Erbitux (cetuximab) extended median overall survival to 19.9 months when added as a first-line treatment to the chemotherapy drug FOLFIRI in patients with colorectal cancer, compared to 18.6 months in those receiving FOLFIRI alone. In a subset of patients with wild-type K-ras tumors,  survival was increased to 23.5 months in patients who received both drugs, compared to 20 months in those only taking FOLFIRI.

The data, presented at the joint 15th European Cancer Organization and 34th European Society for Medical Oncology Multidisciplinary Congress, are an update from study results that appeared in the April issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly & Co. subsidiary ImClone Systems market Erbitux in the United States and Canada, while Merck KGaA – a separate company from U.S.-based Merck & Co. – markets it in Europe. The drug has Food and Drug Administration approval for treating head, neck and colorectal cancers.

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FDA approves Bayer Diabetes Care’s Contour USB blood glucose meter

BY Michael Johnsen

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. Bayer Diabetes Care on Monday announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved the Contour USB blood glucose meter, a blood glucose monitor that plugs directly into a computer, providing users with access to information that can help optimize diabetes management.

“This is an ideal blood glucose monitor for patients who are highly engaged in managing their diabetes, particularly those on insulin who must test frequently,” stated David Simmons, chief medical officer for Bayer Diabetes Care. “With the Contour USB meter, patients are able to review their results with their healthcare professional during an office visit, over the phone, or via e-mail, giving them the opportunity to make treatment adjustments, such as taking action to reduce their A1C levels, if necessary.”

The Contour USB meter is integrated with Glucofacts Deluxe software.

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FDA approves Bayer Diabetes Care’s Contour USB blood glucose meter

BY DSN STAFF

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. Bayer Diabetes Care on Monday announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved the Contour USB blood glucose meter, a blood glucose monitor that plugs directly into a computer, providing users with access to information that can help optimize diabetes management.

“This is an ideal blood glucose monitor for patients who are highly engaged in managing their diabetes, particularly those on insulin who must test frequently,” stated David Simmons, chief medical officer for Bayer Diabetes Care. “With the Contour USB meter, patients are able to review their results with their healthcare professional during an office visit, over the phone, or via e-mail, giving them the opportunity to make treatment adjustments, such as taking action to reduce their A1C levels, if necessary.”

The Contour USB meter is integrated with Glucofacts Deluxe software.

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