HEALTH

Novartis’ Cushing’s disease drug shows promising results in trial

BY Alaric DeArment

EAST HANOVER, N.J. Swiss drug maker Novartis said its investigational drug is the first to show promise in a late-stage clinical trial for Cushing’s disease, a potentially fatal hormonal disorder.

 

Novartis announced Wednesday that the drug SOM230 (pasireotide) had reduced cortisol levels in patients with Cushing’s disease. The disease results from a benign pituitary tumor that causes the adrenal glands to produce excess cortisol. This can lead to metabolic and cardiovascular problems and death. Results will be presented at the 14th congress of the European Neuroendocrine Association.

 

 

“There is a critical need for a medical treatment for people with Cushing’s disease because currently available options, such as surgery or radiotherapy, are ultimately not effective for many of the patients who suffer from this debilitating disease,” said William Ludlam, director of the Seattle Pituitary Center at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle. “The results of this study suggest that pasireotide may help patients achieve biochemical control of their Cushing’s disease and its symptoms by directly targeting the pituitary tumor that triggers excess cortisol production.”

 

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Kaz launches ‘Cold and Flu Central’ Facebook page

BY Michael Johnsen

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. Kaz, the maker of Vicks, Honeywell and Braun wellness devices, recently launched a new Facebook fan page named Cold and Flu Central, created to help inform families about some of the best defenses against colds and the flu.

 

The page includes doctor-approved tips, third-party expert advice and links, product giveaways, drug store availability information, discussions and polls.

 

 

Jennifer Trachtenberg, chief pediatric officer for RealAge.com, is the featured pediatrician on the site. In addition, two other experts will be providing tips to fans on how to stay healthy this winter: Jim McDevitt, an instructor at the Harvard School of Public Health and certified as an industrial hygienist by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene; and Ted Myatt, a senior scientist at Environmental Health and Engineering. Myatt also is the biological safety officer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Institute of Medicine in Massachusetts.

 

 

To help drive interest in the site, Kaz will be giving away one Vicks Cool Mist humidifier, Vicks digital thermometer or Braun ThermoScan ear thermometer each week.

 

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Jerry Barnes receives lifetime achievement award from GMDC

BY Michael Johnsen

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. The Global Market Development Center last week awarded its 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award to Jerry Barnes at its Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference in Orlando, Fla.

GMDC annually bestows this honor on a person who has contributed significantly to the general merchandise and health, beauty and wellness industries, as well as to GMDC through his or her leadership.

“Jerry’s contributions have been very unique, as he served as a key leader as both a member and as a senior manager on our staff,” stated David McConnell, GMDC president. “Jerry had a very successful career inside the industry, which began in the late 1960s when he joined Fleming Foods in Topeka, Kan. In 1982, he left Fleming to go to Carr-Gottstein Foods in Anchorage, Alaska, where he served as corporate VP merchandising and GMDC’s chairman,” McDonnell added. “I think Jerry did his most significant work on behalf of GMDC when, as chairman of the board, he helped facilitate the merger between GMDC and the former National Association of Service Merchandising in 1994. In his many years as a staff member, he has truly served as a catalyst for membership growth and expansion as he’s captured the trust of the membership through his knowledge of the business and passion for GMDC.”

Jerry Barnes has been a regular participant at GMDC Marketing Conferences for more than 20 years and served as chairman of the association in 1994. Since 1996 he has served on the GMDC staff in his role as VP member services.

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