Keryx gets orphan-drug designation for neuroblastoma treatment
NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration has given special designation to an investigational treatment for a cancer of the nervous system that affects children.
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals announced Wednesday that it received orphan drug designation for KRX-0401 (perifosine), a treatment for neuroblastoma. No FDA-approved treatments exist for the disease.
The FDA gives orphan drug designation to investigational treatments for rare illnesses or those affecting fewer than 200,000 patients in the United States. The designation entitles the drug maker to seven years’ market exclusivity following approval, tax benefits and exemption from certain application filing fees.
Pfizer, Samsung Medical Center form liver cancer research partnership
NEW YORK Treatments for liver cancer could emerge from a new research partnership between the world’s largest drug maker and a medical center in Korea.
Pfizer and the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul announced Wednesday a collaboration to analyze tumors from Korean patients and generate genetic profiles that they said could direct therapies and improve the outcomes of liver cancer patients.
“We are pleased to have an opportunity to work with the world’s No. 1 pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, to better understand cancer in Korean patients, with the goal of being able to send a new message of hope for patients with liver cancer across the world, especially in Asia,” Samsung Medical Center president Choi Han-Yong said.
Census Bureau reports retail sales for June
WASHINGTON The Census Bureau announced that advance estimates of retail and food services sales for June dropped 0.5% to $360.2 billion, compared with the previous month. However, sales rose 4.8% when compared with the year-ago period.
The Census Bureau also disclosed that total sales for the April through June 2010 period were up 6.8% from the same period a year ago, perhaps showing that an economic turnaround indeed is underway.
In related news, advance estimates were not available for drug store sales, although the Census Bureau noted that the market share for this business sector has remained relatively the same from month to month. Health and personal care stores saw a near 0.5% gain, increasing from $21.6 to $21.7 million. Grocery stores, however, dropped from $43.6 million to nearly $43.4 million.
“Today’s data shows consumers continue to take a cautious approach towards shopping,” said NRF president and CEO Matt Shay. “However, growth in key areas such as electronics, apparel and department stores is an encouraging sign as we enter the back-to-school shopping season.”