PHARMACY

Study shows smoking can lead to earlier heart disease in women

BY Alaric DeArment

MUNICH, Germany Smoking can cause women to develop heart disease comparatively earlier than men who smoke, according to a study by doctors in Norway presented at the European Society of Cardiology.

The doctors studied data from 1,784 patients admitted for first heart attacks at a hospital in Lillehammer, Norway. They found that while men who smoked had heart attacks on average at age 64, compared to 72 for non-smokers, women who smoked had heart attacks at 66, compared to 81 for women who didn’t smoke.

The researchers adjusted the data for other risk factors related to heart disease, such as cholesterol and diabetes, and determined that women who smoke on average experience heart attacks 14 years earlier than women who don’t; among men, the difference is six years.

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Teva’s Azilect slows Parkinson’s disease in trials

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON Results from a Phase III clinical trial have shown that Teva Pharmaceutical’s Azilect 1-mg tablets can slow the progression of the disease, the drug maker announced.

Researchers gave 1,176 Parkinson’s disease patients daily 1- to 2-mg doses of Azilect for 18 months or a placebo for the first nine months and the drug for the second nine months.

Patients who took the 1-mg dose of Azilect showed significant improvement compared with patients in the placebo group.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Azilect in May 2006 as a monotherapy for early-stage ParkinsonOs disease and as an adjunct therapy to levodopa in moderate-to-advanced stages of the disease.

The drug, known generically as rasagiline mesylate, is available in 30 countries. Danish drug maker Lundbeck markets it in Europe, and both companies plan to co-promote it in the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

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Taro to ask for extension on Sun Pharmaceuticals’ offer

BY Alaric DeArment

TEL AVIV,, Israel Taro Pharmaceutical Industries has said it will appeal to Israel’s Supreme Court to contest a ruling in the Tel Aviv District Court regarding India-based Sun Pharmaceuticals’ offer to acquire the Israeli generic drug maker.

The District Court judge had called Taro’s demand for a tender offer from Sun disingenuous, considering Taro’s acceptance of the offer a year ago.

Taro plans to ask the Supreme Court to extend the deadline for Sun’s offer, which was Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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