FDA approves new indication for J&J prostate cancer drug
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new use for a cancer drug made by Johnson & Johnson, the agency said Monday.
The FDA announced the approval of Zytiga (abiraterone acetate), made by J&J subsidiary Janssen Biotech, for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, for use prior to receiving chemotherapy. The drug was already approved for castration-resistant prostate cancer in men who had already undergone chemotherapy treatment.
In castration-resistant prostate cancer, the cancer cells continue to grow even when men have undergone drug treatment or surgery to block testosterone, which stimulates the growth.
"Today’s approval demonstrates the benefit of further evaluation a drug in an earlier disease setting and provides patients and healthcare providers the option of using Zytiga earlier in the course of treatment," FDA Office of Oncology Drug Products director Richard Pazdur said.
Amgen buys DeCode Genetics for $415 million
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Amgen is buying an Iceland-based biotech company for $415 million, the two said Monday.
Amgen announced it would acquire DeCode Genetics, based in Reykjavik, Iceland, in a deal that Amgen’s board of directors unanimously approved. Founded in 1996, DeCode focuses its business on finding links between the human genome and disease susceptibility. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of 2012 and does not require regulatory approval.
"DeCode Genetics has built a world-class capability in the study of the genetics of human disease," Amgen president and CEO Robert Bradway said. "This capability will enhance our efforts to identify and validate human disease targets. This fits perfectly with our objective to pursue rapid development of relevant molecules that reach the right disease targets while avoiding investments in programs based on less well-validated targets."
Giant-Carlisle participates in GSK inhaler recycling program
CARLISLE, Pa. — Several stores in the Giant Food Stores chain will collect used respiratory inhalers under a program sponsored by drug maker GlaxoSmithKline, the supermarket chain said.
Giant, an Ahold-owned banner also known as Giant-Carlisle to distinguish it from fellow Ahold banner Giant Food of Landover, Md., said 48 stores in Pennsylvania would participate in GSK’s "Complete the Cycle" recycle program for respiratory inhalers used to treat asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, allergies and flu.
Customers at Giant who receive a prescription for a GSK inhaler will have a sticker placed on the inhaler box stating that it can be returned for recycling at the pharmacy.
"This recycling program is an opportunity for our customers to safely dispose of their inhalers at our friendly pharmacies," Giant-Carlisle director of pharmacy operations Leigh Shirley said. "As a company, Giant is always looking for ways to minimize our impact on the environment whether it be in our stores, on the roads or in our distribution centers."