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R&D News in brief

Our weekly round-up of R&D news in brief
 
Actavis makes move for Pliva
Novartis to challenge AstraZeneca
Six in hospital after clinical trial disaster
 
Pharma news in brief
NHS news in brief
R&D news in brief
Phase III Sativex trial results
Shares in GW Pharmaceuticals have dropped sharply by 25 per cent after the firm released preliminary results from a phase III trial of its experimental cannabis-based multiple sclerosis drug, Sativex. The study, which measured the drug's effect on spasticity in MS sufferers, showed that patients who complied with the study protocol showed a statistically significant improvement in the primary outcome measure. However, improvement in the intention to treat population (i.e. all patients regardless of whether they complied with the protocol) was not of statistical significance. We will proceed so that the next regulatory filing in Europe has the maximum chance of success across the indications and across the major markets, said Geoffrey Guy, executive chairman at GW.

Slow-release vaccine on course
Scientists say slow-release vaccines, which would cut the need for booster jabs, could be ready for use in five years' time. The jab uses controlled-release of microscopic nanoparticles that release the vaccine into the body over a few weeks. Developer Cambridge BioStability says the new technology could save money on programmes, particularly in the developing world. The development project is being part funded through a £1.5m grant from the Department of Trade and Industry.

Protelos shines in study
Servier's osteoporosis treatment, Protelos, is effective in reducing nonvertebral and vertebral fractures over five years, according to two new studies presented at the Sixth European Congress on Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis. One trial of 1649 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis found that Protelos significantly reduced the long-term risk of developing a new vertebral fracture by 33 per cent. Meanwhile, five-year results from a study of 5091 osteoporotic women found that the drug reduced the risk of vertebral fractures by 24 per cent, and caused a 15 per cent reduction in nonvertebral fractures. This five-year fracture reduction data is really exciting, as it is the first time any anti-osteoporotic treatment has demonstrated long-term benefit, over such a range of fractures, said consultant rheumatologist, Tim Spector.

30th September 2008

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