PHARMACY

GSK uses technology to find new malaria treatments

BY Alaric DeArment

BURLINGAME, Calif. Though the open-source philosophy has long influenced the computer software industry, British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is applying it to drug discovery in the hopes of finding new treatments for malaria.

The drug company said Thursday it was collaborating with the European Bioinformatics Institute, the U.S. National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, and informatics service provider Collaborative Drug Discovery to make data on more than 13,500 compounds freely available to researchers.

GSK said this was the first time a pharmaceutical company had made the structures of so many compounds available. The company screened 2 million compounds in its library to find those that showed strong inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum, the protozoan parasite that causes malaria. Spread by mosquitoes, P. falciparum is common in poor countries in the tropics.

“We are delighted that EMBL-EBI, NLM and CDD have joined us in this worthwhile endeavor to apply the principles of open source to drug discovery for malaria,” GSK drug discovery head Patrick Vallance said. “Defeating this disease will require many scientific minds working together.”

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PHARMACY

MinuteClinic opens two Mass. locations

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. MinuteClinic, which is owned by CVS Caremark, has expanded its Massachusetts-based clinics to 20 with Wednesday’s opening of two new locations in Hanover and Quincy.

 

"Since opening our first store-based clinic in Massachusetts in 2008, we have helped to expand access to high-quality, convenient and affordable care to thousands of residents who have visited us at convenient CVS/pharmacy locations near where they live and work," stated Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "We are committed to working with the medical community in Massachusetts to build on the state’s precedent-setting efforts to broaden access to quality health services."

 

 

According to MinuteClinic, it has had more than 50,000 patient visits in Massachusetts (not including flu shot visits) in less than two years. About 70% of the patients seen at MinuteClinic locations in Massachusetts do not identify a primary care provider. MinuteClinic offers those patients without a primary care provider information on nearby practices accepting new patients.

 

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PHARMACY

Hospira extends acquisition offer to Javelin

BY Alaric DeArment

LAKE FOREST, Ill. Hospira has extended its $145 million offer to buy Javelin Pharmaceuticals, the generic drug maker said Wednesday.

The offer, originally made in April, was set to expire at the end of Tuesday, but will now expire at the end of June 2.

Hospira said Javelin had not satisfied all the conditions for acquisition, which Javelin said was due to a supply-chain problem with the painkiller Dyloject in the United Kingdom, though Javelin expressed disagreement with Hospira’s position.

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