PHARMACY

Genentech: Advanced skin cancer treatment boosts survival rate

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Patients taking an investigational drug made by Genentech for advanced skin cancer fared better than those receiving standard treatments, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial announced Wednesday.

The company, part of Swiss drug maker Roche, said patients with advanced melanoma containing a mutated version of a protein called BRAF lived longer when receiving the orally administered personalized investigational medicine RG7204 than those receiving the injected chemotherapy drug dacarbazine.

The company said it would present full data from the study at an unspecified medical meeting later this year.

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PHARMACY

Giant Eagle announces free in-store diabetes screenings

BY Allison Cerra

PITTSBURGH — In partnership with Bayer Healthcare Diabetes Care and Novo Nordisk, Giant Eagle is offering its customers free in-store diabetes screenings.

Offerings include A1C tests to measure blood-glucose levels, as well as consultations with Giant Eagle diabetes and pharmaceutical care specialists. The retailer also will have dietitians and wellness coaches on hand at select locations.

Testing is available through Feb. 5, while supplies last.

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Novo Nordisk wins 2010 Good Design Award for NovoPen Echo

BY Alaric DeArment

CRAWLEY, England — An insulin pen for children made by Novo Nordisk has won a design award, the company said Wednesday.

The Danish drug maker won the 2010 Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies for its NovoPen Echo, used to treat Type 1 diabetes. The annual award, which the two organizations have given since 1950, are the oldest and among the most coveted for design and innovation, Novo Nordisk said.

The pen allows patients to inject insulin doses as low as 0.5 units, providing dosages sufficient for children with low insulin requirements. It also includes a memory function that records the dose and time since the last injection.

“We spoke to children and their parents to establish what features of current pens could be improved,” Novo Nordisk chief designer Ramin Elahi said. “We identified the need to develop a pen which combined small dosing capability, a simple memory function and a design made to fit children’s smaller hands.”

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