PHARMACY

Late-stage trial of MS drug shows positive results

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM — A drug under investigation by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Active Biotech reduced symptoms and progression of disease in patients with multiple sclerosis, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial.

Teva and Active announced the publication of results of the phase-3 "Allegro" study of oral laquinimod in the March 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was conducted in 24 countries and enrolled 1,106 patients with MS who received 0.6 mg of laquinimod per day or placebo.

Data from the study showed that the drug, taken once per day, reduced inflammatory disease, slowed disability progression and decreased loss of brain tissue, but was overall safe for patients with MS.

"The publication of the Allegro results in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal is an important landmark as we continue to research and develop laquinimod," stated Teva Global Branded Products SVP research and development Lesley Russell. "We look forward to continuing to work with regulatory authorities in both the E.U. and the U.S. to bring this novel therapy to the MS community."


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PHARMACY

NACDS Foundation seeks nominations for inaugural faculty scholars program

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation has launched a new program designed to annually educate assistant professors from U.S. schools and colleges of pharmacy about designing, implementing and publishing community pharmacy-based patient care research.

The NACDS Foundation Faculty Scholars Program will provide participants with advanced educational opportunities through in-person meetings, regular conference calls, individualized mentoring, Web-based lecture material and online discussion forums. Participating professors will obtain one-to-one coaching and support from experienced researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, and research grants to launch patient-centered care projects.

“The NACDS Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Program will help catalyze innovative research to explore community pharmacists’ role in impacting health outcomes and reducing costs through medication counseling and other health services,” stated NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger. “We are thrilled to foster research by young academics and provide them with a wealth of resources, including the opportunity to obtain expert advice from experienced researchers and engage in peer-to-peer review.”

The NACDS Foundation will accept five scholars for the inaugural 2012-2013 class. The first in-person meeting of the selected faculty members will be held during the NACDS Pharmacy & Technology Conference, to be held August 25 to 28 in Denver.

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PHARMACY

FDA approves first effervescent tablet for osteoporosis

BY Alaric DeArment

FREIENBACH, Switzerland — The Food and Drug Administration approved an effervescent tablet for treating osteoporosis.

EffRx Pharmaceuticals announced the FDA approval of Binosto (alendronate sodium), a strawberry-flavored tablet designed to dissolve in water that the company called the first treatment of its kind. The drug is designed to treat osteoporosis in menopausal women and increase bone mass in men with osteoporosis. EffRx expects to launch Binosto in third quarter 2012.

"Binosto is a breakthrough innovation for the treatment of osteoporosis, offering those patients that have difficulty with tablets the proven fracture risk reduction of alendronate in a pleasant-tasting and easy-to-swallow buffered solution," EffRx chairman and CEO Christer Rosen said.


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