HEALTH

Meda to acquire Alaven

BY Michael Johnsen

STOCKHOLM Meda on Monday announced an agreement to acquire the specialty pharmaceutical company Alaven in a move that will “significantly enhance Meda’s marketing capabilities in the United States and expand the therapeutic focus to include both gastroenterology and women’s health — areas that Meda already operates in outside of the United States,” the company stated.

Meda also identified Alaven’s over-the-counter platform, which accounts for approximately 25% of Alaven’s sales, as an attractive element to the deal.

“Alaven’s products and business model are very similar to Meda’s, and we look forward to integrating their proven capabilities,” stated Meda CEO Anders Lonner. “The acquisition of Alaven enables our operations in the United States to become stronger and more profitable by taking advantage of cost and marketing synergies.”

Meda will pay $350 million on a cash and debt-free basis. Net debt is estimated at $63 million. Closing of the transaction is subject to standard closing requirements and antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission. The acquisition of Alaven is expected to be completed by early October.

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Research finds risk of developing Type 2 diabetes lower in breast-feeding mothers

BY Antoinette Alexander

PITTSBURGH Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that mothers who did not breast-feed their children have higher rates of Type 2 diabetes later in life compared with those who breast-fed.

 

"We have seen dramatic increases in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes over the last century," stated Eleanor Schwarz, assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology, and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. "Diet and exercise are widely known to impact the risk of Type 2 diabetes, but few people realize that breast-feeding also reduces mothers’ risk of developing the disease later in life by decreasing maternal belly fat."

 

The study, published in the September issue of the American Journal of Medicine, included 2,233 women between the ages of 40 and 78 years.

Overall, 56% of mothers reported they had breast-fed an infant for at least one month. Twenty-seven percent of mothers who did not breast-feed developed Type 2 diabetes and were almost twice as likely to develop the disease as women who had breast-fed or never given birth. In contrast, mothers who breast-fed all of their children were no more likely to develop diabetes than women who never gave birth. These long-term differences were notable even after considering age, race, physical activity, and tobacco and alcohol use.

"Our study provides another good reason to encourage women to breast-feed their infants, at least for the infant’s first month of life," Schwarz added. "Clinicians need to consider women’s pregnancy and lactation history when advising women about their risk for developing Type 2 diabetes."

The research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the National Institute of Child Health and Development.

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Topical BioMedics earns patent for product used to treat fibromyalgia pain

BY Michael Johnsen

RHINEBECK, N.Y. Topical BioMedics on Thursday announced that its Topricin pain relief and healing cream has been awarded a patent as a treatment of pain associated with fibromyalgia. A Food and Drug Administration-regulated topical biomedicine, Topricin was introduced by the company in 1994, the company stated.

More than 5 million people suffer from fibromyalgia, with the vast majority of them being women. The condition is characterized by chronic, widespread pain in muscles, ligaments and tendons; multiple “tender points”; fatigue; and sleep disturbances. Other symptoms include numbness and tingling, irritable bowel syndrome, palpitations and tension or migraine headaches. The soft-tissue pain of fibromyalgia is described as deep-aching, radiating, gnawing, shooting or burning, and ranges from mild to severe.

Topricin delivers a combination of homeopathic medicines to relieve pain. “Topricin has been effective in resolving pain for the many women suffering with fibromyalgia, with many reporting they have more energy [and] are staying more active, and [reporting] that [Topricin] has helped to reduce or eliminate their dependency on oral pain medications,” stated Lou Paradise, Topical BioMedics CEO.

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