Merck KGaA’s investigational MS drug may improve patients’ condition
TORONTO An investigational drug made by Merck KGaA may provide a new treatment option for patients with multiple sclerosis, according to late-stage clinical trial results presented Friday at a scientific meeting.
Merck KGaA said data from the 1,326-patient “CLARITY” phase 3 trial presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology showed that more than 40% of patients taking cladribine tablets achieved disease activity-free status during the 96 weeks of the study, compared with 16% of those taking placebo. In addition, more patients experienced reductions in disease relapse.
“The relevance of the CLARITY study is further substantiated by the series of additional analyses presented at AAN,” said Bernhard Kirschbaum, head of global research and development for the company’s Merck Serono division. “We are committed to continuing to work with regulatory authorities to bring cladribine tablets at the earliest point in time.”
Merck KGaA, based in Darmstadt, Germany, is a separate company from Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck.
Study: Remicade more efficient in treating Crohn’s disease than generic competitor
HORSHAM, Pa. Patients who had not received previous treatment recovered and healed better when taking a Johnson & Johnson biotech drug for Crohn’s disease than when taking a common generic drug for the disease, according to post-marketing clinical trial results published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Results of a phase 4 study comparing J&J’s Remicade (infliximab) with azathioprine showed that a larger number of patients had steroid-free remission and mucosal healing when taking Remicade than when they took azathioprine. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory, autoimmune disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that affects around half a million Americans.
“The results provide new insights into the benefits of starting Remicade alone or in combination with azathioprine –– earlier in the treatment of moderate to severe Crohn’s disease,” principal study investigator and medicine professor of France’s Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Lille Jean-Frederic Colombel said.
The investigators found that after 26 weeks, 57% of patients taking Remicade and azathioprine together and 44% of those taking Remicade alone had remission of their disease without steroids, compared with 30% of those taking azathioprine alone.
Babson College to host Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing program
WELLESLEY, Mass. Babson College will be offering two sessions of Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing, its seven-day open enrollment program on retail management.
As a leader in entrepreneurial management education, Babson said Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing works with retail leaders to identify and evaluate their organizations’ key success factors in order to plan more strategically and manage their businesses more effectively.
The program, designed for retail CEOs, senior and general merchandise managers, operations managers, district managers, and upper-level marketing, finance, human resources, and MIS managers, participants will learn to:
- Strategically plan for growth, including financial modeling and productivity analysis
- Analyze and interpret consumer, competitive, and market research
- Develop and implement enhanced merchandising management and assortment strategies
- Effectively manage strategic resources
Program faculty include: Lawrence Ring (faculty director) and John Strong.
The program will be held at The College of William and Mary from May 1-7 and at the Babson Executive Conference Center from September 11 – 17.