PHARMACY

Sanofi-Aventis, AgaMatrix announce diabetes partnership

BY Alaric DeArment

SALEM, N.H. French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis and U.S.-based AgaMatrix will develop blood-glucose monitoring devices that use an AgaMatrix technology to personalize each test, the two companies announced Wednesday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, the two will develop devices using AgaMatrix’s WaveSense technology, which uses a method called dynamic electrochemistry to detect and correct for errors caused by differences in blood samples, manufacturing variations and environmental conditions. Sanofi will then commercialize the devices through its Global Diabetes Division.

“In building our Global Diabetes Division, our objectives included conducting an exhaustive search for potential partners that have excellent core science, are highly innovative and have the potential to develop a broad range of products,” Sanofi Global Diabetes Division VP device strategy Eric Petreto said. “With AgaMatrix, we’ve found a company that can meet all three objectives in the [blood-glucose monitoring] category.”

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Study finds Victoza more effective in treating Type 2 diabetes than competitor

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. A study published online in the journal Diabetes Care indicated that a once-daily diabetes drug made by Novo Nordisk “further improves” blood sugar control and weight loss when patients switch to it from a competitor made by Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk announced Tuesday.

The study, conducted by the Danish drug maker, was a 26-week study in Type 2 diabetes patients taking Novo Nordisk’s Victoza (liraglutide) or Lilly’s twice-daily Byetta (exenatide). The drugs are the only glucagon-like peptide-1, or GLP-1 agonists available on the market.

“Clinical benefits were seen in patients who switched from exenatide to Victoza,” University of North Carolina School of Medicine Diabetes Care Center director and study investigator John Buse said. “The significant improvements in blood sugar lowering and fasting glucose confirm the original findings of the trial regarding the efficacy of Victoza.”

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Hospira completes Orchid acquisition

BY Alaric DeArment

LAKE FOREST, Ill. Hospira has completed its $400 million acquisition of the generic injectables business of Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, the generic drug maker announced Tuesday.

“We are excited to acquire new capabilities that will create opportunities for commercial growth, position us strongly in a key antibiotics product area, expand our global footprint and enhance our ability to provide lower-cost, high-quality products to patients,” Hospira COO Terry Kearney said. “We’re also excited to welcome a talented base of 450 employees, including newly appointed managing director [for] Hospira India, Dr. C.B. Rao, who joins us with a wealth of diversified industrial and management experience, and will provide continuity of leadership for the Orchid team joining Hospira.”

The acquisition, announced in February, includes Orchid’s beta-lactam antibiotic formuatlions manufacturing complex — comprising penicillin, cephalosporin and carbapenem facilities — and a pharmaceutical research and development facility in Irungattukottai, Chennai.

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