HEALTH

Topical BioMedics earns patent for product used to treat fibromyalgia pain

BY Michael Johnsen

RHINEBECK, N.Y. Topical BioMedics on Thursday announced that its Topricin pain relief and healing cream has been awarded a patent as a treatment of pain associated with fibromyalgia. A Food and Drug Administration-regulated topical biomedicine, Topricin was introduced by the company in 1994, the company stated.

More than 5 million people suffer from fibromyalgia, with the vast majority of them being women. The condition is characterized by chronic, widespread pain in muscles, ligaments and tendons; multiple “tender points”; fatigue; and sleep disturbances. Other symptoms include numbness and tingling, irritable bowel syndrome, palpitations and tension or migraine headaches. The soft-tissue pain of fibromyalgia is described as deep-aching, radiating, gnawing, shooting or burning, and ranges from mild to severe.

Topricin delivers a combination of homeopathic medicines to relieve pain. “Topricin has been effective in resolving pain for the many women suffering with fibromyalgia, with many reporting they have more energy [and] are staying more active, and [reporting] that [Topricin] has helped to reduce or eliminate their dependency on oral pain medications,” stated Lou Paradise, Topical BioMedics CEO.

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Novartis completes purchase of Alcon stock

BY Michael Johnsen

BASEL, Switzerland Novartis on Thursday announced that it has completed its purchase of Alcon stock from Nestle, resulting in 77% ownership of Alcon. This has been achieved by completing the acquisition of the remaining 52% of Alcon shares owned by Nestle for a total of $28.3 billion.

Alcon strategically complements Novartis’ business portfolio, the Swiss company stated, adding a platform in eye care to its pharmaceutical, generics, vaccines and diagnostics, and consumer health divisions. Alcon realized 2009 annual sales of $6.5 billion, operating income of $2.3 billion and net income of $2 billion.

The eye care sector offers further growth opportunities underpinned by the increasing unmet needs of emerging markets and an aging population. The Alcon and Novartis eye care portfolios address a broad range of these unmet needs, Novartis noted. The companies have complementary pharmaceutical portfolios for diseases in the front and back areas of the eye, as well as strong global brands in lens care.

“We are delighted to become majority owners of Alcon,” stated Joseph Jimenez, Novartis CEO. “Together, both companies can achieve their strategic priorities to deliver against patient needs through innovative and differentiated products.”

With the achievement of the 77% majority ownership, Novartis and Alcon will be able to pursue opportunities with Lucentis, the company noted, utilizing the companies’ complementary field forces around the potential launch of Lucentis for Diabetic Macular Edema. Other opportunities include optimization of lens care manufacturing and research collaborations.

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GlaxoSmithKline introduces ‘Nicorette Makes Quitting Suck Less’ ad campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH To help raise awareness around Commit Lozenge, which has been folded into the Nicorette franchise, GlaxoSmithKline earlier this week introduced a new commercial to its “Nicorette Makes Quitting Suck Less” campaign, the company announced Wednesday.

PITTSBURGH To help raise awareness around Commit Lozenge, which has been folded into the Nicorette franchise, GlaxoSmithKline earlier this week introduced a new commercial to its “Nicorette Makes Quitting Suck Less” campaign, the company announced Wednesday.

“Nicorette Makes Quitting Suck Less” was introduced in December 2009 as a frank-talk campaign using honest language and humorous situations to convey that the brand understands how hard it is to quit smoking, changing the way smoking-cessation brands communicate with smokers. The campaign has proven successful and is positively changing smokers’ perceptions of Nicorette, GlaxoSmithKline stated.

GlaxoSmithKline initially expanded its Nicorette portfolio beyond gum-based smoking-cessation solutions in March with the launch of Nicorette mint mini-lozenge.

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