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R&D News in brief

Our weekly round-up of the R&D news in brief

Positive data for Fosrenol
Shire's Fosrenol can further reduce phosphate levels in patients with severe kidney disease previously receiving other monotherapies or combined phosphate binders, according to data presented at the ERA-EDTA congress in Glasgow. In the open label trial, 359 dialysis patients were treated with Fosrenol as monotherapy, with over 40 per cent of patients previously on combination phosphate binder therapy. The study found that after 12 weeks of Fosrenol treatment, patients' average serum phosphate levels were 1.84 mmol/L compared with 1.99 mmol/L on other previously received therapies. Fosrenol has been available in the US for 18 months with over 44,000 patients receiving the drug since its launch. It will continue to be launched across Europe over the next 18 months.

Balance of risks for raloxifene
Eli Lilly's drug, Evista (raloxifene) helps prevent cancer but raises the risk of blood clots and fatal strokes, according to the results of a new study involving 10,101 postmenopausal women, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study tested whether Evista was better than placebo at reducing breast cancer and heart-related risks in women who either had clogged arteries or multiple heart risk factors, such as advanced age, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. While of the 5,044 Evista users, there were one-third fewer cases of breast cancer and about half the number of invasive breast cancers, 59 of them had fatal strokes compared to only 39 of the 5,057 on placebo.

UK biotech R&D deal
UK biotech firms, Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) and Glycoform have signed a research deal to evaluate the latter's protein glycosylation technology and its application to monoclonal antibodies to improve antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. ìWe are delighted to have taken this relationship forward so that we can undertake research work with CAT in monoclonal antibodies,î said Michael Short, CEO at Gylcoform. ìIn addition to our own in-house pipeline, including treatments for anaemia and Gaucher Disease, we are now looking to build external relationships to support the next stage of the company's development and growth.î

30th September 2008


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