PHARMACY

Victoza, NovoSeven drive Novo Nordisk’s sales

BY Alaric DeArment

BAGSVÆRD, Denmark — A collection of relatively new products helped drive up sales and profits at Novo Nordisk, the Danish drug maker said Wednesday. 

Sales increased by 22% in the North American markets when measured in local currencies, and by 29% when measured in Danish kroner, the company said. Operating profits were $3.5 billion, a 16% increase over 2009.

Strong performers included the Type 2 diabetes drug Victoza (liraglutide), which had sales of $429.4 million, while sales of the hemophilia treatment NovoSeven (coagulation factor VIIa [recombinant]) increased by 8%.

“2010 was a very good year for Novo Nordisk with strong organic sales growth driven by the modern insulins and Victoza,” Novo Nordisk president and CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen said. “We expect continued sales growth from these products and are encouraged by the results from the phase-3 program with our new generation insulins.”

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Eisai receives complete response letter for GERD treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration declined to approve a drug made by Eisai for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease, Eisai said Tuesday.

The drug maker announced its receipt of a complete response letter from the agency for its application for rabeprazole sodium extended-release capsules, a proton-pump inhibitor for GERD. The FDA delivers a complete response letter when it has finished reviewing a regulatory approval application, but issues remain that preclude final approval of the drug.

Eisai did not specify what issues the FDA brought up in the letter, but said it would work with the agency to address them.

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Long Island University’s pharmacy school celebrates 125th anniversary

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The pharmacy school of Long Island University is turning 125.

The university said Tuesday that the Arnold & Marie Schwarz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences would celebrate its 125th anniversary with a series of events to showcase its history. A $12.5 million capital campaign focused on construction and renovation, scholarships and expansion of research and graduate education will coincide with the anniversary celebrations.

The school was founded in 1886 as the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy, and its alumni include former Roche president Herbert Conrad and Louis Lemberger, one of the scientists who discovered Eli Lilly’s antidepressant Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride).

“This significant anniversary comes at a pivotal moment in our college’s existence, as well as in our nation’s history,” college dean David Taft said. “There are dramatic changes occurring within this country’s healthcare system. So, while we take the opportunity to celebrate our longevity and our success, we will also look to position our institution for the future.”

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