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FDA approves new prostate cancer drug

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A new treatment for late-stage prostate cancer has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA announced Wednesday the approval of Bayer’s Xofigo (radian Ra 223 dichloride) for men with symptomatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer that has spread to the bones but not other organs, also known as metastasis. The drug is designed for men whose cancer has spread after receiving medical or surgical therapy to lower testosterone.

"Xofigo binds with minerals in the bone to deliver radiation directly to bone tumors, limiting the damage to the surrounding normal tissues," FDA Office of Hematology and Oncology Products director Richard Pazdur said. "Xofigo is the second prostate cancer drug approved by the FDA in the past year that demonstrates an ability to extend the survival of men with metastatic prostate cancer."

Pazdur was referring to Astellas’ and Medivation’s Xtandi (enzalutamide), which the agency approved in August 2012 for men with metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer that has spread and recurred after medical or surgical therapy after they have been treated with the chemotherapy drug docetaxel.

 

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Coty adds Olivier Goudet to board of directors

BY Jason Owen

NEW YORK — Coty Inc., an emerging global leader in beauty, announced today that it has added Olivier Goudet , partner and chief executive officer of the Joh. A. Benckiser Group, to the company’s board of directors.

Goudet replaces Bernd Beetz, who stepped down from Coty’s Board to pursue other interests. JAB is a privately held group that owns and invests in premium brands; it is also Coty’s majority shareholder.

"We bid Bernd a fond farewell and wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors. Coty, its employees and shareholders will be forever grateful for Bernd’s leadership during his tenure as Coty’s CEO. We will miss his passion, energy and the many contributions he made to the Coty business throughout well over a decade," said Bart Becht, chairman, Coty’s board of directors. "We are excited to add Olivier’s enormous talents and expertise to our board, and look forward to drawing on his wealth of knowledge and business experience, particularly with publicly traded consumer companies."

Mr. Beetz remarked, "As I step down from Coty’s Board and look back upon my past 11 years at Coty, I am proud to have been at the helm during this time in Coty’s history. I am full of enthusiasm as I begin a new chapter in my professional life, and wish everyone at Coty continued success!"

In addition to Mr. Goudet’s role with JAB, he also serves on the board of directors of Anheuser-Busch InBev and the board of the Washington Performing Arts Society. Prior to joining JAB, Mr. Goudet was chief financial officer of Mars Inc.


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Program launched to raise awareness of depression among employers

BY Alaric DeArment

CANTON, Ohio — According to a study published 10 years ago, depression costs $44 billion per year in lost productivity, but a new program is designed to raise awareness about depression in the workforce and its effects on productivity.

The program, Right Direction, is sponsored by the American Psychiatric Foundation and Ohio-based employer coalition Employers Health. The sponsors hope the program — which they are launching Wednesday at the Employers Health 14th Annual Employer Symposium and presenting at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco, which starts Saturday — will promote early recognition of symptoms and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-in-10 people have depression, while the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that only one-third of people with diagnosable mental health conditions seek care.

"Employee satisfaction and well-being are strongly linked to business success, which is just one of the many reasons it’s important to support those experiencing depression in the workplace," Employers Health director of programs and communications Marcas Miles said. "Right Direction is unique in that it goes beyond telling employers what they should do to actually providing them a step-by-step tool to de-stigmatize depression in the workplace and help employees function better both in and out of work."


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