PHARMACY

Sandoz starts late-stage trial of Humira biosimilar

BY Alaric DeArment

HOLZKIRCHEN, Germany — Drug maker Sandoz has started a late-stage clinical trial of a biotech drug used to treat autoimmune disorders, the company said.

Sandoz, the generics division of Swiss drug maker Novartis, announced the start of a phase-3 clinical trial of biosimilar adalimumab. The drug is a version of AbbVie’s Humira, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn’s disease.

"This latest advancement in our pipeline represents our unwavering commitment to expanding patient access to biologics, particularly in disease areas where there is a significant need for more treatment choices," Sandoz head of global biopharmaceutical and oncology injectables development Mark McCamish said. "We look forward to bringing a high-quality and affordable biosimilar version of adalimumab to individuals around the world living with psoriasis and other debilitating autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis."

The company said the trial would support its efforts to win regulatory approval for the drug in the United States and the European Union. The company also is developing biosimilar versions of Amgen’s Enbrel (etanercept) and Roche’s Rituxan (rituximab).

 

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Reports: Three drug makers have sights on Pfizer’s generics unit

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Three drug makers are looking into buying Pfizer’s branded-generics drug business, according to published reports.

Reuters reported that Actavis, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and Mylan had expressed interest in buying Pfizer’s business segment focused on generic drugs. However, Reuters reported that Pfizer was not yet ready to make a deal and was in the process of a potential separation of the generics unit.

In July, Pfizer split its branded and generic drug businesses into three segments, including one "value" segment focused on generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars, with John Young as group president. Leadership appointments to the three segments became effective on Jan. 1 of this year.

 

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MediSafe updates medication reminder app to allow automatic refills

BY Alaric DeArment

HAIFA, Israel — Users of a medication-management app can now refill their prescriptions using an enhancement to it.

MediSafe announced Monday an updated version of its Medication Refill Reminder app allowing users to enter contact information for their preferred pharmacies and, once alerted that a medication refill is needed, to click on the pharmacy logo that directs them to the mobile refill page of the specified pharmacy. The app currently supports refills for Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and Health Mart.

"One key issue tied to non-adherence is people’s forgetfulness when it comes to refilling medications, which is why we implemented this new option to make it easier for users to act instantly when a reminder is sent," MediSafe CEO Omri Shor said. "Our mobile solution plays an important supportive role in helping people manage their medications properly, as well as their families, which motivates us to continuously update and make our applications more personalized and convenient for every user."

 

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