PHARMACY

Regulus, GSK develop hepatitis C therapies

BY Alaric DeArment

CARLSBAD, Calif. Two drug companies plan to work together to develop therapies for hepatitis C.

Regulus Therapeutics announced Thursday a deal with British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline to develop and commercialize therapeutics targeting microRNA, small RNA molecules that regulate the expression of genes, with a particular focus on microRNA-122.

GlaxoSmithKline plans to pay Regulus an upfront payment and early-stage milestone payments, with the potential to earn more than $150 million in combined payments and royalties.

“This new collaboration with GSK demonstrates the clear scientific leadership that Regulus has established in advancing a whole new frontier of pharmaceutical research,” Regulus president and CEO Kleanthis Xanthopoulos said in a statement. “MicroRNA therapeutics target the pathways of human diseases, not just single disease targets, and hold considerable promise as novel therapies across a broad range of unmet medical needs.”

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Kerr Drug honored for MTM services

BY Jim Frederick

RALEIGH, N.C. Thousands of patient interventions by Kerr Drug pharmacists have earned the chain recognition from a leading pharmaceutical health provider as the nation’s top provider of pharmacy-based medication therapy management.

It’s the third year in a row Kerr has won the honor, bestowed by Outcomes Pharmaceutical Health Care, a national MTM provider network. In bestowing the award, Outcomes noted that Kerr pharmacists served nearly 10,000 MTM-eligible patients in 2008, saving more than $2 million in estimated costs.

“Over the past year, Kerr Drug has remained a front-runner in the provision of MTM services and has clearly demonstrated the value pharmacists deliver to the health care system,” said Outcomes VP Brand Newland.

Outcomes also named the Kerr store in Moncks Corner, S.C., as the top individual pharmacy for 2008 in its eighth region, an operating area that represents Georgia and South Carolina.

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New drug application review for Exenatide extended

BY Allison Cerra

INDIANAPOLIS A diabetes drug developed by Amylin, Eli Lilly and Alkermes will be reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration March 12.

The revised action date of Exenatide once weekly is the result of the FDA’s decision to allow five additional days for its review of pending regulatory applications following the agency’s recent five-day weather-related closure.

Exenatide once weekly is an investigational, extended-release medication for Type 2 diabetes designed to deliver continuous therapeutic levels of exenatide in a single weekly dose. The NDA for exenatide once weekly was submitted in May 2009 and accepted by the FDA in July 2009.

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