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Study: Celebrex less likely to cause GI issues than other NSAIDs

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Arthritis patients at risk of harmful gastrointestinal side effects due to use of a class of pain relievers fared better when taking a drug made by Pfizer than when taking two other drugs, according to results of a study released Thursday.

Pfizer said the “CONDOR” study showed that arthritis patients prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs — a class that includes the common pain reliever ibuprofen — showed lower incidence of gastrointestinal side effects when taking Celebrex (celecoxib) than those taking omeprazole plus diclofenac. Results of the study were published online in medical journal The Lancet.

NSAIDs are among the most widely prescribed drugs for arthritis, but their use often is associated with such gastrointestinal side effects as ulcers, perforations and hemorrhage.

“Physicians are aware of the potential for damage to the upper GI tract with NSAID use, however a growing body of evidence suggests that NSAID-induced GI toxicity also extends to the lower GI tract,” said Francis Chan, lead study investigator and medical professor at Hong Kong’s Chinese University.

The study, conducted on more than 4,400 patients in 32 countries, was conducted to evaluate NSAID-related gastrointestinal side effects by examining the upper and lower GI tract. It is the first large-scale, double-blind, randomized study to assess two common treatment strategies for arthritis patients at increased gastrointestinal risk, Pfizer said.

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‘Battle of the bulge’ solved with Perfect Fit Button

BY Allison Cerra

FAIRFIELD, N.J. Need a quick fix for pants that just don’t fit right? Look no further than the Perfect Fit Button, an innovative new product that helps prolong the comfortable fit of pants, jeans or skirts by creating an easy way to adjust the waistband.

Made by TeleBrands, the company behind such products as storage solution Shoes Under and PedEgg, the Perfect Fit Button is the newest way to get pants and skirts to fit without having to spend extra money. It retails for $9.99 for a set of eight.

Visit PerfectFitButton.com for more information.

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Patient enrollment complete for lung cancer treatment trial

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Drug maker OXiGENE has finished enrolling patients for a mid-stage clinical trial of a lung cancer treatment, the company said Wednesday.

OXiGENE announced that it had enrolled 60 patients in “FALCON,” a phase 2 trial of the drug Zybrestat, a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. The trial comprises two arms, a study arm with patients taking Zybrestat with Genentech’s Avastin (bevacizumab) and chemotherapy, and a control arm with patients taking Avastin and chemotherapy alone. OXiGENE said some preliminary results from the trial presented at the recent meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology have indicated that the drug is safe and effective.

“We look forward to presenting a more complete analysis of the FALCON trial later in 2010 at a scientific meeting,” OXiGENE CEO Peter Langecker said. “If the encouraging positive trends in terms of progression-free survival and overall survival that we presented at ASCO are maintained, they will underscore Zybrestat’s utility in non-small cell lung cancer and potentially pave the way toward embarking upon a registration pathway.”

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