PHARMACY

Upsher-Smith launches new Nexa vitamin

BY Allison Cerra

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Upsher-Smith has amplified its Nexa prenatal vitamin line with the launch of Nexa Select Rx.

The company said the Nexa Select Rx prenatal vitamin, which comes in gel capsules, is an advanced formulation that contains 325-mg of plant-based docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. The company noted that Nexa Select Rx contains more DHA in each capsule than any other single-gel capsule, prescription prenatal vitamin taken once a day. DHA supports a baby’s prenatal and postnatal brain and visual development, Upsher-Smith said. Nexa Select Rx also contains 800 IU of vitamin D3, as well as 1.25 mg of folic acid and 29 mg of iron. In addition, each capsule also contains other essential vitamins and minerals that are important for the overall health and well-being of mother and baby, including calcium and vitamins B6 and C — as well as the gentle stool softener docusate sodium for added comfort.

"There is no more important time to eat a nutritious diet than during pregnancy. Even the most conscientious mothers-to-be can benefit from the added nutritional support that prenatal vitamins provide," said Wesley Mark Todd, senior director of medical affairs at Upsher-Smith. "While Nexa Select includes numerous vitamins and minerals to support a healthy pregnancy, the folic acid and plant-based DHA in a single capsule are especially appealing to many moms-to-be."

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Vascugel granted fast-track designation by FDA

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Food and Drug Administration has given expedited review to a drug for preventing hemodialysis failure in patients with end-stage kidney disease.

The FDA granted fast-track review status to the cell-based therapy Vascugel, made by Pervasis Therapeutics. The FDA grants the status to accelerate review of treatments for serious and life-threatening conditions, particularly those that address serious, unmet medical conditions.

Hemodialysis is used to filter the blood in patients with end-stage kidney disease, but patients can experience complications that cause clotting of the vascular access points used in hemodialysis that renders them unusuable, also known as hemodialysis access failure. Vascugel is designed to prevent this clotting.

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Biovail Labs to distribute Aczone in Canada

BY Alaric DeArment

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Valeant Pharmaceuticals subsidiary Biovail Labs International has licensed Canadian rights to a treatment for acne from Allergan, Valeant said Tuesday.

Under the terms of the agreement concerning the drug Aczone (dapsone) gel in the 5% strength, Biovail will pay Allergan about $500,000 Canadian dollars (about $504,693) upfront, as well as payments based on net sales.

“Aczone gel is a strong addition to our Canadian business,” Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson said. “This compound was originally approved in 2006 and never launched into the Canadian marketplace, providing Valeant Canada with a unique opportunity to strengthen and enhance our dermatology portfolio in Canada.”

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