PHARMACY

GSK tests lupus drug in patients with inflammatory blood vessel disorder

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON — GlaxoSmithKline has started a late-stage clinical trial of a drug in patients with an inflammatory disease that affects the blood vessels.

The drug maker announced the start of a phase-3 trial of Benlysta (belimumab) in patients with vasculitis, a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks blood vessels, leading to inflammation, disruption of blood flow and possible damage to the organs. The drug is being tested in patients with a common form of the disease known as anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies-positive vasculitis.

The Food and Drug Administration originally approved Benlysta in 2011 for treating lupus.

 

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Actavis to market, distribute authorized generic version of Valeant drug; Valeant to co-promote Actavis drug

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Actavis will market and distribute an authorized generic version of a genital herpes ointment made by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the companies said Friday.

The agreement centers around Zovirax, known generically as acyclovir, in the 5% strength. The Food and Drug Administration approved the generic version, made by Mylan, on Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Unlike an FDA-approved generic, an authorized generic is the branded drug marketed under its generic name at a discounted price, usually through a third-party company.

The agreement also gives Valeant the right to co-promote Actavis Specialty Brands’ Cordran Tape (flurandrenolide), a treatment for skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and contact dermatitis, in the United States.

 

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Novo Nordisk launches Race with Insulin contest with Charlie Kimball as spokesman

BY Alaric DeArment

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Novo Nordisk has launched a diabetes awareness sweepstakes in which the winners get a free trip to the 2013 IndyCar finale, the Danish drug maker said Friday.

The company announced that it had hired IZOD IndyCar Series Charlie Kimball as spokesman for its Race with Insulin contest. Kimball, the first licensed driver with diabetes to race at the highest level of the series, was diagnosed with the disease during a routine doctor visit in 2007 while racing in Europe and is a user of Novo Nordisk’s NovoLog (insulin aspart [rDNA origin]).

"It takes an entire crew to help me manage both my car and my diabetes, so we can compete at the highest levels," Kimball said. "This program is a great way for people to show support, especially for friends and family affected by diabetes, and encourage them to share my story."

Contestants can take part through Sept. 15 by sharing Kimball’s story about the importance of team support with two or more friends or family. Registration is at a website created by the drug maker.


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