PHARMACY

Seattle Genetics, Millennium start phase-3 trial of Adcetris

BY Alaric DeArment

BOTHELL, Wash. — Seattle Genetics and Takeda’s cancer drug subsidiary have started a late-stage clinical trial for a lymphoma drug, the companies said Wednesday.

Seattle Genetics and Millennium announced the start of a phase-3 trial of Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) in patients relapsed cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that expresses the CD30 cell membrane protein. The study will enroll more than 120 patients who will be divided into two groups, one of which will receive Adcetris and another that will receive methotrexate or bexarotene.

"We recognize this is a significant milestone in our efforts to explore the potential of this targeted therapy in other indications," Millennium chief medical officer Karen Ferrante said. "Looking forward, this study may support the potential to supplement therapeutic options for patients, from traditional systemic chemotherapy to Adcetris, a targeted therapy."

The companies also plan to start phase-3 trials of the drug in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma later this year or early next year.


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PHARMACY

BioScrip reports Q1

BY Allison Cerra

ELMSFORD, N.Y. — BioScrip experienced a boost in revenue and gross profit during first quarter 2012 ended March 31.

First-quarter revenue was $155.6 million, while gross profit was $53.5 million, or 34.4% of revenue, compared with $51.4 million, or 39.2% of revenue, in the prior-year period. However, segment adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations experienced losses, dropping to $15 million and $8.4 million, respectively. The company also reported a net loss of $2.7 million or 5 cents per share, compared with net income of $2.9 million, or 5 cents per diluted share, in first quarter 2011.

BioScrip noted its first-quarter results financial statements reflect the results of its discontinued operations; BioScrip’s traditional and specialty pharmacy mail operations and community retail pharmacy stores were sold May 4. To underscore the sale of these assets, BioScrip also has changed the names of its operating and reportable segments from infusion/home health services and pharmacy services to infusion services, home health services and PBM services.

"Our first-quarter results demonstrated our ability to continue to execute on our strategic plan, while at the same time divesting a large portion of the company," BioScrip president and CEO Rick Smith said. "We closed the pharmacy services asset sale, marking a major milestone that allows us to accelerate the momentum of our infusion pharmacy platform expansion and to leverage our key strengths, including our differentiated offering and reputation for clinical excellence. Over the next couple of quarters we will continue to focus on reducing corporate overhead and maximizing operating efficiencies to improve operating performance and profitability."

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Kerr Drug launches pet meds program

BY Alaric DeArment

RALEIGH, N.C. — Kerr Drug announced the launch of its Healthy Pet program, offering a full range of pet medications that customers can order online on the chain’s website and have delivered to their homes, the regional retail pharmacy chain said Wednesday.

"With the addition of our online Healthy Pet pharmacy, Kerr Drug is North Carolina’s pharmacy for the entire family," president and CEO Tony Civello said. "Kerr Drug’s Healthy Pet continues our work as a community pharmacy by helping us provide even greater convenience, affordability and customer service."

The retailer said it would offer both human drugs at doses suitable for pets and animal-specific medications for cats, dogs, birds, horses, small pets and exotic pets. The company also will compound medications in various formats and flavors, while veterinarians will be available full time to answer pet owners’ questions about prescription pet drugs.


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