PHARMACY

Pfizer, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics partner in drug-discovery initiative

BY Alaric DeArment

BETHESDA, Md. — The drug-discovery division of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is teaming up with drug maker Pfizer to find new treatments for patients with the most common genetic mutation of the disease.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics announced a $58 million partnership with Pfizer to discover new drugs for CF patients whose disease has the Delta F508 mutation, present in nearly 90% of patients, in which a defective protein called CFTR does not fold correctly and is unable to reach the cell surface so it can maintain proper flow of salt and fluids into the airways. Because of this, thick secretions form in the airways, leading to serious lung infections and damage.

"We are excited to expand our efforts with Pfizer to accelerate the development of more therapies that treat the root cause of CF and benefit the greatest number of people with the disease," CF Foundation president and CEO Robert Beall said. "Pfizer brings impressive technical and scientific expertise, along with its commitment to improving the lives of people with cystic fibrosis."


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PHARMACY

FDA approves GSK drug for hepatitis C patients with low platelet counts

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for a condition that can complicate treatment for hepatitis C.

GlaxoSmithKline said Monday that the FDA had approved Promacta (eltrombopag) for treating low blood-platelet counts, also known as thrombocytopenia, to allow patients with hepatitis C to undergo and maintain interferon-based therapy. The drug already had FDA approval to treat chronic immune thrombocytopenia. 

"Some chronic hepatitis C patients suffer from low blood platelet counts," GSK Oncology president Paolo Paoletti said. "Commonly prescribed interferon-based therapies can worsen the problem of low blood-platelet counts. Today’s FDA approval of Promacta gives doctors a tool to address the low platelet challenge."


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Dr. Reddy’s launches PAH drug

BY Alaric DeArment

HYDERABAD, India — Dr. Reddy’s Labs has launched a generic drug for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, the company said.

Dr. Reddy’s announced the launch of sildenafil tablets in the 20 mg strength in 90-count bottles. The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s Revatio.

Revatio had sales of $338.67 million during the 12-month period ended in September, according to IMS Health.


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