HEALTH

Shire, Acceleron Pharma ink development deal

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. British drug maker Shire is working with Cambridge, Mass.-based Acceleron Pharma to develop treatments for serious muscular disorders, Shire said Thursday.

 

The drug maker announced that the two companies would investigate ACE-031, a drug in mid-stage clinical trials as a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare and fatal muscle disorder with no current treatment. The drug belongs to a class known as activin receptor type IIB, or ActRIIB molecules.

 

 

The two companies will work together to advance ACE-031 into a global phase-2 and -3 clinical program designed to demonstrate disease modification in patients with DMD.

 

 

Under the agreement, Shire will pay Acceleron $45 million upfront, and the latter company will be eligible for milestone payments of up to $453 million for ACE-031 and other molecules. If the drug manages to win regulatory approval, Acceleron will have rights to commercialize it in the United States and Canada, while Shire will have rights in other countries.

 

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Watson gets FDA approval for generic Yasmin

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic oral contraceptive made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, the drug maker said Tuesday.

 

Watson announced the FDA’s approval of Zarah (drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol tablets) in the 3 mg/0.03 mg strength. The drug is a generic version of Bayer’s Yasmin.

 

 

Watson said it has started shipping the drug, though Bayer’s patent litigation suit against the company concerning the drug remains pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

 

 

Yasmin and generic versions had sales of around $97 million during the 12 months ended in June, according to IMS Health.

 

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H1N1 prompts increase in thorough hand-washing among Americans

BY Michael Johnsen

MILWAUKEE Concerns about last year’s H1N1 virus have had an impact on Americans’ hand-washing habits, according to a national survey conducted by Bradley Corp.

In Bradley’s second Healthy Hand Washing survey, 50% of the 1,053 respondents said they "wash their hands more thoroughly or longer or more frequently" in public restrooms as a result of the H1N1 virus — that’s up from 45% in 2009 when the same question was asked.

 

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adults average two to four colds a year, and children have about six to 10. In fact, the common cold is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from school and work.

 

 

Bradley’s Healthy Hand Washing survey was conducted online from July 7 to 15, 2010, and queried 1,053 American adults about their hand-washing habits in public restrooms. Participants were from around the country, ranged in age from 18 to 65 years and older, and the split between men and women was 46% and 54%, respectively.

 

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