PHARMACY

NACDS Foundation dinner raises $2.2 million

BY Adam Kraemer

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores this week held its Ninth Annual Foundation Dinner in New York City. This year’s fundraising event far surpassed previous records, increasing for the third consecutive year, raising $2.2 million for the NACDS Foundation.

The mission of the NACDS Foundation, the organization reported, is “to enhance support of pharmacy education, student scholarships, research and training that advance community pharmacy’s public service, and charitable organizations.”

Emmy award winner Tim Russert addressed the attendees, sharing his thoughts gained from a remarkable career, from being managing editor and moderator of Meet the Press as well as, political analyst for NBC Nightly News to serving as as senior vice president and Washington bureau chief of NBC News.

Donations raised from the dinner help advance the role of community pharmacy in numerous ways, including major research projects, pharmacy student scholarships, and charity work. Over the years, the NACDS Foundation has provided nearly $2 million in support to pharmacy education to help ensure the future of a strong and vibrant industry. And in the last year alone, it provided nearly $1 million in grants to charitable organizations that positively impact the lives of patients and the communities the chain drug industry serves.

“We could not be more thrilled or more grateful at the extensive generosity set forth by our benefactors,” said Phil Schneider, NACDS Foundation president. ”The contributions raised will enable the NACDS Foundation to continue, and even increase its work to advance community pharmacy.”

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PHARMACY

Wyeth and GSK may see competition in pediatric vaccines

BY Allison Cerra

LONDON There may be a clash of the titans underway.

Pharma giants Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline are set to go head to head with their competing childhood vaccines, but Wyeth dismissed any worries about the newcomer to the vaccine playground.

Wyeth’s Prevnar will remain a key sales driver for the company but would not be hindered by Glaxo’s Synflorix, said Emilio Emini, the U.S. group’s head of vaccine research and development, on Tuesday.

Prevnar, a vaccine for infants and children to prevent certain invasive pneumococcal diseases, is active against seven types of streptococcus pneumonia, which together account for some 80 percent of illnesses, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Glaxo’s Synflorix, which a company spokeswoman said remained on track for submission to European regulators by the end of 2007, targets 10 types, and even prevents inflammation of the middle ear.

But Emini said Synflorix was incomparable to the new version of Prevnar.

“Essentially, it is a direct equivalent of the original Prevnar,” he said in an interview with Reuters on the sidelines of the FT Global Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Conference. “If you look at the residual 20 percent of disease (not addressed by Prevnar) and ask how much is covered by the GSK 10-valent vaccine, it’s actually a small percentage. How much is covered by Prevnar-13? It’s over 60 percent,” Emini said.

Wyeth intends to submit a new version of Prevnar, active against 13 strains, to both European and U.S. regulators by the beginning of 2009.

The original version of the vaccine was introduced in 2000. Third-quarter sales of Prevnar were up 24 percent from a year earlier at $634 million.

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PHARMACY

Biomira to make move to U.S. under new name

BY Drew Buono

EDMONTON, Canada Biomira shareholders have approved a plan to move the company to the U.S. and to change its name to Oncothyreon Incorporated. Oncothyreon will be the parent corporation of a successor company of Biomira and its subsidiaries, according to Canada.com.

The biotech company, which focuses on cancer treatment, currently has a few drugs in its pipeline including Stimuvax, which it is developing with Merck to treat non-small cell lung cancer. That drug is currently in a Phase III clinical trial. The next drug that is furthest along in development is a small molecule called PX-12, which is a drug used to treat pancreatic cancer and is currently in a Phase II trial.

“We are very pleased to have received the strong support of our shareholders for our relocation and the revision of our capital structure,” chief executive officer Robert Kirkland said. The shareholders will receive one-sixth of a share of common stock of Oncothyreon in exchange for each Biomira share. The new company will be based in Seattle.

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