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FDA approves Merck cholesterol drug

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug made by Merck for treating high cholesterol, the drug maker said.

Merck announced the approval of Liptruzet (ezetimibe and atorvastatin). The drug combines two preexisting cholesterol drugs: ezetimibe, which Merck markets under the brand name Zetia, and atorvastatin, which Pfizer markets under the name Lipitor. Both drugs are available as generics, but because Liptruzet is a novel combination of them, it required FDA approval as a new drug.

"A significant percentage of patients are unable to lower their [low-density lipoprotein] cholesterol to recommended levels despite treatment," Baylor College of Medicine professor Peter Jones said. "Along with a healthy diet, Liptruzet is an effective new lipid-lowering treatment option that may help address this unmet need as the complementary actions of its components can provide significant additional LDL lowering beyond atorvastatin therapy alone."

 

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FDA approves Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Sustiva for HIV in infants, toddlers

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for HIV in infants and toddlers.

Bristol-Myers Squibb said the FDA approved Sustiva (efavirenz) for HIV-1 in pediatric patients as young as 3 months and weighing at least 7.7 pounds. The approval includes a "capsule sprinkle" administration option for those who can’t swallow capsules or tablets, whereby capsules are broken open and the contents are sprinkled on food or a beverage. The new approval was under a supplemental new drug application, or sNDA, which means the drug was approved for a new use in addition to approvals it had already received; the FDA originally approved Sustiva in 1998 for children ages 3 years and older.

"Bristol-Myers Squibb recognizes the importance of offering alternative methods of administration of HIV medicines, including for pediatric patients who cannot swallow tablets or capsules, and their caregivers who help manage their treatment," Bristol-Myers Squibb SVP global development and medical affairs Brian Daniels said. "This approval is one example of our enduring commitment to the HIV patient community."

 

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Ethnic hair care brand Motions introduces new Straight Finish

BY Antoinette Alexander

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Ethnic hair care brand Motions has introduced its new Motions Straight Finish Heat Styled System, which is a three-step product line that, with the help of heat styling tools, helps women with natural hair textures go from curly to straight and back again without losing their curls.

According to a recent survey, 1-out-of-4 African-American women with natural hair would like to straight-style their hair, but only if their curl pattern would not be compromised, according to the manufacturer.  

Motions Straight Finish Heat Styled System features a "bounce back" formula — with a blend of natural oils and keratin protein — that is designed to prep, protect and seal naturally curly hair. At each step of the process, Motions Straight Finish is designed to help to smooth and elongate natural curls, allowing for optimal straight styling results, and after just one wash, hair returns to its original curly pattern and texture.

Motions Straight Finish will launch with an online program centered around #Curly2Straight transformations and featuring a series of Twitter parties throughout the month of May. The Twitter parties, co-hosted by hair experts and enthusiasts, will help debunk the many myths associated with straight styling natural hair. Joining in the chats will be celebrity hair stylist Ursula Stephen; natural hair vlogger Taren Guy; Atlanta-based hair and beauty blogger Lexi Felder of LexiWithTheCurls; and fashion and beauty blogger Danielle Gray of TheStyleandBeautyDoctor.  

Each week, Motions will give girls access to these digital influencers and all their hair, beauty and style expertise.  Participants can ask questions, share their "curly 2 straight" transformations, have the chance to win prizes and more.
 
Motions Straight Finish Heat Styled System has a suggested retail price of $6.99 each and is now available at select Target and Walmart locations nationwide, as well as online at Drugstore.com.

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