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Archive for the ‘Statins’ Category

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TODAY’S NEWS:

Abbott making a big India buy – The speculation that has been fuelling the shares of Piramal Healthcare over the past few days has been put to rest after Abbott Laboratories announced Friday that it will buy a unit of the Indian pharmaceutical companymore

Lots of Oncology. Rituxan: cutting lymphoma recurrence – The final phase of a drug study finds that two years of treatment with rituximab (Rituxan) cuts in half the risk that follicular lymphoma patients who respond to chemotherapy will suffer a recurrence of the diseasemore And, some good news on sarcoma: An experimental drug from Ziopharm Oncology Inc. helped keep fast-growing sarcomas, lethal tumors that can grow to the size of basketballs, in check 77% longer than a standard treatment, a company-sponsored study foundmore Plus, Amgen experimental drugs slow down some tumors.

Some side effects of popular cholesterol-lowering drugs? – Drugs to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, taken by millions of people worldwide, increase the risk of cataracts, kidney failure, muscle pain and liver dysfunction, a study of more than 2 million Britons foundmore

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The Doctor Won’t See You Now training.

JUST FOR FUN

It’s spring, and the weather’s fine. So, go on one of America’s Scenic Drives.

AND, a pharma spoof – So, What’s your Problem with Gram-Negative Bacteria?

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TODAY’S NEWS

AstraZeneca still waiting for the upside of MedImmune acquisition.

Pfizer: More Lipitor, fewer heart complications – A reanalysis of research data found a high dose of popular cholesterol pill Lipitor lowers risk of heart attack and stroke in some patients with both heart disease and kidney disease, the drug’s maker said Mondaymore

Fred Hassan heads to Bausch & Lomb.

Novartis‘ Tekturna post-heart attack: Not a good idea. “Given these results, we are not currently recommending the use of this agent in addition to other inhibitors of the renin-angiotensin system in this specific patient population.”

Access to docs flat, but appointments on the rise.

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“I hate her uterus!” DTC, infertility, and a very effective on-line campaign. IncreaseYourChances.

JUST FOR FUN

Human, squirrel, or anvil? A great Dilbert cartoon today!

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TODAY’S NEWS

Pfizer‘s oncology drug Sutent slows down pancreatic cancer spread – Pfizer Inc.  said Sutent, its drug for kidney cancer, also helps stop the progression of a kind of pancreatic cancer, according to a late-stage trial. Sutent is in several late-stage studies to investigate expanding its use beyond kidney and gastrointestinal treatment, exploring its efficacy in treating breast and lung cancer, among others. In the most recent study of patients with advanced tumors originating in the hormone-production area of the pancreas, disease progression was halted for more than twice as long with Sutent versus a placebo..more

Quintiles re-brands: Navigating the New Health.

In pharma-world, people often joke about how we should just put statins in the drinking water. Here’s some insight as to why (don’t shoot the messenger – I know there are plenty of detractors!)

Doc gives up hospital post over conflict-of-interest rules.

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Prilosec making a big venture into social media: a good move? – Procter & Gamble has launched a new online social media site for Prilosec OTC focused on winning new customers by talking up the lifestyle difficulties of heartburn sufferers. In an increasingly crowded market for over-the-counter heartburn medicines, is it worth spending millions more on an advertising campaign for a mature product with declining sales volumes?more

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Advertising on a bus – how to be way too creepy!

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TODAY’S NEWS

Crestor – now no high cholesterol needed!

Ah, lawyers. NJ, the judicial hellhole. And, the video Pfizer doesn’t want you to see.

Rare diseases and big pharma.

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VaxTrak – Novartis launches a first-version of an iPhone app for tracking your childrens’ vaccinations. I like it.

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15 Stupidest Warning Labels. Some real winners here!

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TODAY’S NEWS

So, have we been pursuing the wrong course for GERD all this time? Is it actually caused by immune system cells, not stomach acid?

Maybe cheap/old/tried-and-true really is better. Diuretics for HPB, for instance. Or just plain generic simvastatin for cholesterol.

Pfizer gets good news on Revatio (which is the same as Viagra, by the way) for the treatment of PAH; Spiriva for COPD; and the Prevnar 13 vaccine.

Genzyme: Train wreck?. But wait – there’s more.

Getting excited about sex: not so easy to be excited about B-I‘s experimental treatment for female desire; Vivus‘ competitor to current ED drugs still on track, however.

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Blind Spots and Broken Limbs. I’ve got them, too…

JUST FOR FUN

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TODAY’S NEWS

FTC says “yes” to Merck-Schering merger.

AstraZeneca’s experimental drug Brilinta may not get along well with aspirin: AstraZeneca Plc is looking into whether greater use of aspirin reduces the effectiveness of its experimental clot-busting medicine Brilinta, which analysts had estimated would bring in $1 billion a yearmore Plus, AZ agrees to a $520M fine in Seroquel marketing probe. Ouch.

Medical Marketing and Media agency awards for this year. It was an in-house effort that picked up the Gold Award for Best Integration Program for Large Companies.

Statins and flu: med may be good for more than high cholesterol? – Doctors may have a new treatment for swine flu that’s already on pharmacy shelves — cholesterol-lowering statin drugs like Pfizer’s Lipitor and Zocor. Researchers reported Thursday that people who were already on these drugs when they caught seasonal flu and had to be hospitalized were twice as likely to survive than those not on such medicinesmore

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When Statistics have Faces. A reminder of the humanity in everything we do. Also, an amazing animation of how the flu virus infects your body.

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Landscape Photo of the Year. And other lovely contenders.
Coming up next week:

eComm

Nov. 3-4 – eyeforpharma’s 4th Annual eCommunication and On-line Marketing Summit, Philadelphia, PA. I’ll be part of a panel on social networking, and live-blogging/Twittering. Here’s a discount code to save $400 off your registration: SPEAK

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Connect with Steve Woodruff

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TODAY’S NEWS

Combo pills for high cholesterol: no better than higher doses of single drug? Interesting study results.

Should we really be doing all those PSA tests for prostate cancer? Maybe not.

Shire‘s Gaucher drug on the fast track, due to Genzyme manufacturing problems.

A NY Times interview with Deborah Dunsire, CEO of Millennium – good focus on leadership development.

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FDA silence about social media guidance “a problem,” according to a Pfizer exec. Agreed.

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Here’s a lightning bolt you definitely would not want to see up-close and personal. Wow!

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Roche‘s MabThera can help extend CLL patients’ lives. Meanwhile, surprisingly good results for AZ‘s lung cancer drug Iressa. But, disappointment for an experimental lung cancer drug being developed by Amgen and Takeda. And, Novartis‘ promising kidney cancer drug Afinitor gets the FDA delay treatment (fuller Novartis pipeline update here).

Glaxo gets U.S. approval for platelet drug Promacta.

Biotech bankruptcies looming?

AstraZenecacutting, selling, stopping.

More positive info for Takeda‘s experimental gout drug.

Can Pharma learn from the Detroit automaker situation? Some good thoughts here.

Generic coming? Let’s hike the price! – Cephalon has already taken heat for off-label promotion of its narcolepsy drug Provigil. Now, facing the prospect of generic competition to Provigil in 2012, the company is dramatically hiking Provigil’s price…more

Javelin tosses 15% – Javelin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading developer of novel products for pain management, today announced that it will reduce its workforce by approximately 15 percent. The reduction is intended to reduce Javelins cost structure…more

Cancer drugs for diabetes? The mice say maybe… – Two popular leukemia drugs, Gleevec and Sutent, kept lab mice from developing type 1 diabetes and put 80 percent of diabetic mice in remission, an international team said on Monday…more

J&J patch leads to costly settlement.

Merck’s Gardasil promising in boys – Scientists are reporting at a scientific meeting in Nice, France, today that 90% fewer men ages 16 to 26 years developed genital warts and other lesions after receiving Gardasil…more

Pfizer: big bucks toward stem cells – Over the next five years, the drugmaker will create dual facilities in the UK and Massachusetts to use stem cells to treat heart disease, diabetes, cancer and vision loss common among the elderly. In doing so, Pfizer is touting that it becomes the first big pharma to have such a dedicated effort, which will include hiring 70 scientists to staff the labs…more

Beauty fillers, ugly side effects? – An ugly side of the beauty business emerged today, as an FDA briefing listed 930 reports of side effects for injectable wrinkle fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm…more

King’s new pain pill might make the grade – An FDA advisory committee determined that Remoxy is less susceptible to abuse than the notorious OxyContin, suggesting the pill will win FDA approval, Bloomberg News reports, although the committee did not take a formal vote…more

FDA to require meta-analyses of diabetes drugs.

More questions about Effient? – Researchers have overestimated the ability to the experimental drug without causing dangerous bleeding, according to a prominent cardiologist, Reuters writes. Prasugrel, you may recall, has twice been delayed by the FDA, which is reportedly set to hold an advisory meeting early next year…more

Major Amylin layoffs – The 25 percent staff reduction, which follows sluggish sales of its flagship Byetta diabetes med, is designed to save more than $100 million next year. After the dust clears, Amylin will have 1,800 employees…more

All right, what’s the big deal with the Crestor/Jupiter/cholesterol study? Some questions answered.

Did you know that the FDA gives drug review vouchers? Neither did I – Two months ago, a new program got under way in the US to promote the development of drugs for so-called neglected diseases that continue to plague the poorest nations. Here is the outline: a drugmaker that seeks approval of a drug to treat one of these infectious diseases gets a voucher, which awards an expedited FDA review of a new drug application for any other med…more

Amgen doing an “Obama” to market new drug? – Taking a leaf out of the marketing playbook of President-elect Barack Obama, biotechnology company Amgen Inc plans to make use of the Internet and social networking sites to market its drugs to consumers…more, plus another take here.

Merck: we still have heart – Merck wants the world to know that when it comes to developing new drugs for cardiovascular disease, the company is in the fight for the long haul…more

The cost of rep sales calls. Have a calculator handy. From John Mack’s Pharma Marketing blog.

I have some real problems with this. Brand-name drug manufacturers liable for generic injuries – A ruling on Friday by a California appeals court is likely to spark a good many lawsuits against big pharma. The upshot – brand-name drugmakers were put on notice that they can be held liable not only for harm caused by their own meds, but also for injuries caused by a generic drugmaker selling a copycat version…more

More doctors quitting.

This is really funny. From the Colbert Report, via PharmaGossip.

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Glaxo: more big cuts, and the U.S. HQ needle pointing south – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced that it will reduce its sales personnel by 12% to 7,500 down from 8,500. The company will slash 1,800 jobs resulting in a total of 1,000 layoffs. Some positions have already been eliminated while other personnel will be reassigned to new areas. The company is also consolidating operations and moving personnel from its Philadelphia facility to Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, where it employs about 5,000 people…more

Gilead gets a boost from new HIV treatment guidelines – The DHHS named Gilead’s Truvada, a combination of the company’s HIV treatments Emtriva and Viread, the lone preferred regimen for previously untreated HIV patients. Gilead’s shares added 3.2% to $47.31 in regular trading…more

Genzyme pours serious cash into Osiris – Genzyme Corp. will pay Osiris Therapeutics Inc. as much as $1.38 billion to develop therapies that use stem cells to treat blood cancers, inflammation and joint damage. ..more

Amylin’s Byetta LAR gets extended delay for extended release – Shares of Amylin Pharmaceuticals have collapsed after it emerged that US regulators have rejected data for a once-weekly version of its diabetes drug Byetta…more

UCB gets OAB drug approval – UCB announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the anti-muscarinic agent Toviaz® (fesoterodine fumarate) extended-release tablets for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB) with symptoms of urge urinary incontinence, urgency, and urinary frequency…more

What does Jupiter have to do with cholesterol treatments? A lot!

But will Winnie be used to sell obesity treatments? Pooh characters as Seroquel sales aids? Hmmm…

Cephalon’s Treanda gets another indication – on Friday received a second approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its cancer drug Treanda, this time as a treatment for patients with non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL)…more

CV Therapeutics’ Ranexa gets a first-line approval – CV Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new, first line indication for Ranexa® (ranolazine extended-release tablets) for the treatment of chronic angina. The new labeling also provides information showing that Ranexa reduced arrhythmias including ventricular arrhythmias, new onset atrial fibrillation and a potentially dangerous slow heartbeat known as bradycardia in patients with coronary artery disease. In addition, the new labeling states that Ranexa reduces hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in patients with diabetes…more

Promising experimental Hep-C treatment in the Schering pipeline – results being reported.

Obesity drugs: everybody bails out – For those of you hoping that America’s obesity crisis could be solved with a pill, think again. Pfizer announced late Wednesday that it is scrapping its anti-fat drug, the as-yet unnamed “CP-945,598,” for essentially political reasons. Sanofi-Aventis today also announced that it was ending its trials on Acomplia/Zimulti, an obesity pill that was approved and then yanked in Europe. And Merck a couple of weeks ago pulled its fat pill taranabant, from its pipeline…more

Why did J&J consolidate its drug advertising biz between 2 big agency holding companies?

Big Pharma’s loss may be Little Pharma’s gain – as big drugmakers continue to trim jobs, smaller biopharmaceutical makers and specialty pharma are benefiting from the downsizing, according to David Poling, director of state business operations at Aerotek, a staffing firm…more

The 10 weirdest drug stories of the month.

First glimpse of the secrets of the cancer genome. Fascinating.

If you’re not up on the latest pharma/legal issue called pre-emption, you need to be. Go here for the latest.

Want even more news? Chris Truelove over at Pharmalive has a big roundup this week – lots of interesting tidbits and links..

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Some surprises in the new diabetes guidelines issue by the American Diabetes Association and European Association for the Study of Diabetes…more

Speaking of diabetes – we’re paying a lot more over the last few years!

And, a triple dose of diabetes news, including bad news for Avandia.

Medtronic exec says devices are finished?????? Now that’s an interesting PR move!

FDA accepts priority review of expanded Erbitux label.

My favorite headline of the week. Type-1 Diabetes Not So Much Bad Genes as Good Genes Behaving Badly, Stanford Research Shows.

Novo: we have cash and we know how to use it – Novo Nordisk A/S is earmarking as much as $2 billion for takeovers in the next 12 months as the financial crisis forces cash-strapped biotechnology companies onto the market, Chief Financial Officer Jesper Brandgaard said.“We are more or less able to finance in cash acquisitions within the $1 billion to $2 billion range,” Brandgaard said in a phone interview from Copenhagen. “We think there will be opportunities in biotech which we haven’t seen before.”…more

Meet the new team at Pfizer.

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics gets a biological tester approved.

Big Crestor study results could be “game changer” – A forthcoming AstraZeneca study could dramatically increase the market for cholesterol-lowering drugs, otherwise known as statins, which are already pharma’s biggest success story, Forbes writes…more

New “Superbug” antibiotics on the way? – Two experimental antibiotics appear to work safely against an increasingly common and dangerous form of infection called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, researchers said on Sunday…more

Schering’s new anesthesia-recovery drug looking good – An experimental drug worked many times faster than a standard treatment in helping surgery patients recover from anesthesia, according to a just-published study funded by its developer, Schering-Plough Corp…more

Lashes. Lovely lashes. And an eye-color change, too. Welcome to Lumigan.

$1.4 Billion – “not meaningful” to Eli Lilly. Huh?

Some promising Phase III clinical trial results – Novartis biologic shows great efficacy on a rare autoinflammatory disease. And, Merck‘s Isentress looks good on treatment-naive HIV patients.

Apidra approved for pediatric diabetes – Sanofi-aventis announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Apidra® (insulin glulisine [rDNA origin] injection) to improve glycemic control in children (4 years and older) with diabetes mellitus…more

U.S. drug sales growing much more slowly than forecast – The number crunchers at IMS Health just cut their estimate for growth of U.S. drug sales to 1% to 2% this year– way down from the 4% to 5% they’d previously forecasted, the WSJ reportsmore

BusinessWeek chats with a few pharma CEOs – As part of a package of stories about big pharma, BusinessWeek grabbed the ceo at four drugmakers – Pfizer’s Jeff Kindler; Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Jim Cornelius; Lilly’s John Lechleiter and Roche’s Severin Schwan – to discuss the varied and vexing problems the industry faces. Here are a few of their comments…more

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