PHARMACY

FDA approves new smallpox vaccine

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new vaccine against smallpox called, ACAM2000. The drug inoculates people who are at high risk of exposure to the virus.

The disease has been declared extinct by world health authorities for almost 30 years now, but since Sept. 11 concerns arose over using smallpox and other infections as weapons. With that in mind, the Centers for Disease Control has already stockpiled 192.5 million doses of the vaccine.

Smallpox is caused by the variola virus, which spreads through close contact with infected individuals or contaminated objects. ACAM2000 is made using a pox virus called vaccinia, which is related to but different from the virus that causes smallpox.

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Hutchinson to join Renovo; Vernalis suffers his loss

BY Allison Cerra

BERKSHIRE, England Renovo has created a new position entitled chief medical officer and executive board director for John Hutchinson, the former developmental developed for Vernalis.

Renovo has just recently signed a deal with Shire to co-develop a new anti-scarring drug, Juvista. The deal could be worth as much as $825 million with sales estimated to generate as much as $4 billion per year.

Hutchinson leaves Vernalis at a difficult time, as the company is dealing with a decision from U.S. regulators to delay a decision on its menstrual migraine drug Frova for the second time.

Renovo said that they have offered Hutchinson equity stake in the company.

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Gene Logic to search for secondary paths for Merck pipeline

BY Drew Buono

GAITHERSBURG, Md. Gene Logic has entered into a drug repositioning and development agreement with Merck Serono, to seek other development paths for several of Merck Sereno’s drug candidates.

The drug candidates, which were discontinued or de-prioritized in clinical trials for reasons other than safety would give payments to Gene Logic based on success milestone and royalties, although these would be discounted to account for Merck Serono’s contribution.

If Gene Logic identifies a new potential therapeutic use that Merck Serono chooses not to develop, they can receive an exclusive license for the drug and would then pay Merck Serono royalty and success-based milestone payments.

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