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FDA approves GSK’s Promacta for treatment of SAA

BY Ryan Chavis

BRENTFORD, England — GlaxoSmithKline announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved its supplemental new drug application for Promacta (eltrombopag), a once-daily medication for patients with severe aplastic anaemia who have had an insufficient response to immunosuppressive therapy.

SAA is a blood disorder where bone marrow doesn't produce enough red blook cells, white cells and platelets. The drug helps by helping to induce proliferation and differentiation of bone marrow stem cells to increase production of blood cells, the company stated.

“FDA approval of Promacta addresses a significant treatment need for this very rare but serious blood disorder in those who have failed current treatment options,” said Dr. Paolo Paoletti, president of oncology, GSK. “Through collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, whose studies demonstrate the potential for Promacta to achieve a haematologic response in at least one lineage – red blood cells, platelets, or white blood cells – patients now have a treatment option where one didn’t previously exist.”

Promacta received breakthrough therapy status from the FDA in January and priority review in April.

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Apotex names Dr. Jeremy Desai president and CEO

BY Ryan Chavis

TORONTO — Canadian pharmaceutical company Apotex announced the appointment of Dr. Jeremy Desai to president and CEO.

Dr. Desai received a pharmacy degree in 1981, his PhD in 1985 and an MBA in 1993. He has spent close to 30 years in a number of senior roles within the pharmaceutical industry and has been with Apotex for the last 11 years in numerous roles — including EVP and global head of research and development. Dr. Desai most recently served as COO.

Dr. Desai said his objective is to continue building on the company's "culture of quality" by maintaining a commitment to excellence in producing affordable pharmaceutical products for patients around the world.

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Charmin takes on Times Square for National Toilet Paper Day

BY Ryan Chavis

CINCINNATI — In honor of National Toilet Paper Day, Procter & Gamble's Charmin brand will take over Times Square in New York to give away 20,000 rolls. Times Square's iconic performer the Naked Cowboy will be present to help out.

“It takes a lot of confidence to stand here in my underwear everyday and I only trust Charmin Ultra Strong to help keep my whities tidy,” said the Naked Cowboy. “I’m excited to partner with Charmin, on National Toilet Paper Day, and support their overall mission to help keep everyone’s whities tidy.”

In addition to his distribution duties, the Naked Cowboy will use his famous guitar to sing Charmin-themed songs. The brand will give away Ultra Strong, Ultra Soft and Basic toilet paper rolls via the Charmin Dump Truck. Charmin will share and engage with fans throughout the day via social media at Facebook.com/Charmin and on Twitter, @Charmin.

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