join The Indian American Chemical Society (TIACS), please send an
email to: TIACSemail@example.com
5109 Kali Era, Sarvajit
Vikramarka Era, Sarvajit
IBM was the big winner with 3,148. The largest number was awarded to Bristol-Myers
Squibb, with 82 (http://www.pharmalot.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/ifi-patent-chart-3.jpg).
A caveat, however, for those unfamiliar with the patent world. This reflects
only the number of patents granted by the USPTO last year, but that isn’t
the same thing as saying these match the number of patents filed in 2007.
There is always a backlog of patents pending. In other words, Bristol scientists
and patent lawyers may well have been busier a couple of years earlier.
Continuing the hot trend of biopharma companies partnering with research
institutions, Pfizer has signed a $25 million, five-year deal with St. Louis-based
Washington University. The move extends a previous relationship between the
two that stretches back to 1982. As part of the deal, Washington University
and Pfizer researchers will identify, design and execute projects focused
on immuno-inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, asthma and diabetes. In
Wyeth Considers Job Cuts
Wyeth is considering cost cuts that could eliminate 10 percent of its work
force over a three-year period. The company's earnings prospects have
been hurt by delays last year in approvals of new medicines including its
Pristiq depression drug, and the recent launch of a generic form of its blockbuster
Protonix ulcer medicine. Wyeth currently has 50,000 employees worldwide.
Blood Pressure Medication
Tablets containing a combination of the blood pressure medication aliskiren
and water pill hydrochlorothiazide have been approved by the Food and Drug
Administration, the product's manufacturer, Novartis AG. Sold under
the name Tekturna in the United States, the hypertension compound aliskiren
was approved last March. It acts by targeting renin, an enzyme responsible
for high blood pressure. The newly approved version also includes hydrochlorothiazide,
a compound that inhibits the kidney's ability to retain water. This water
pill is commonly used to treat high blood pressure. Tekturna HCT tablets are
intended for patients whose blood pressure has not been controlled by a single
drug. They will be available in early February the company said. Side effects
associated with the new combination tablets include dizziness, flu-like symptoms,
diarrhea, cough, tiredness and skin rashes.
Tysabri for Crohn's
The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of the multiple sclerosis
(MS) drug Tysabri to treat Crohn's disease. Tysabri was approved for patients
with moderate to severe Crohn's disease who have not responded to standard
treatments. Crohn’s disease is an ongoing disorder that causes inflammation
of the digestive tract, also referred to as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Crohn’s disease can affect any area of the GI tract, from the mouth to the
anus, but it most commonly affects the lower part of the small intestine,
called the ileum. The swelling extends deep into the lining of the affected
organ. The swelling can cause pain and can make the intestines empty frequently,
resulting in diarrhea. Like MS patients who take Tysabri, people using
the drug for Crohn's disease will have to enroll in a special distribution
program, including an educational program on Tysabri's risks, and will only
be able to get injections of the drug from a list of registered doctors. The
restrictions were a condition of Tysabri's return to the market in 2006. The
drug had been pulled in 2005 because it was linked to a rare but serious side
effect, a nervous system disorder called multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved etravirine tablets for the
treatment of HIV infection in adults who have failed treatment with other
antiretrovirals. Etravirine is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor
(NNRTI) that helps to block an enzyme which HIV needs to multiply. The drug
was approved to be used in combination with other anti-HIV medications. Sold
under the trade name Intelence, etravirine received a priority review by the
FDA. Development of etravirine was triggered by the observations of
in vitro anti-HIV activity of etravirine against mutant, NNRTI-resistant HIV
strains. Etravirine is distributed by Tibotec Therapeutics, a division of
Ortho Biotech Products, L.P., based in Bridgewater, N.J.
Diabetes affects an estimated 21 million Americans and its incidence is
increasing by approximately 1.5 million new cases each year in the United
States alone. Approximately 90 percent to 95 percent of people with diabetes
suffer from type 2 diabetes, the most common metabolic disease in the world
and the fifth deadliest disease in the United States. Diabetes is the leading
cause of blindness, end-stage renal disease, and non-traumatic loss of limb.
It can also lead to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney disease,
and other serious conditions. In the United States, the public health cost
of diabetes is more than $130 billion per year.
Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) has approved Welchol(TM) (colesevelam HCl) to improve glycemic control
(measured as hemoglobin A1C) in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus in combination
with metformin, sulfonylureas, or insulin, either alone or in combination
with other anti-diabetic agents. Welchol is now the first and only medication
approved to reduce both glucose levels and low density lipoprotein cholesterol
levels (LDL-C). The ADA estimates that 20.8 million people in the United States
have diabetes with more than 90 percent of these people having type 2 diabetes.(1)
Forty percent of patients with type 2 diabetes also have high LDL-cholesterol.(2)
Welchol is a new option that addresses both these chronic health conditions
and provides physicians with a unique therapeutic approach for treating patients
with type 2 diabetes.
Depomed, Inc. announced that it has received approval from the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) for the 1000 mg strength tablets of GlumetzaTM
(metformin hydrochloride extended release tablets). Glumetza (metformin
hydrochloride extended release tablets) is indicated alone or in combination
with a sulfonylurea or insulin as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve
glycemic control in adult patients (18 years and older) with type 2 diabetes.
Obesity surgery can cure type 2 diabetes, according to a new Australian
study. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, found that obese people who had stomach band surgery
to reduce the size of their stomachs were five times more likely to have
their diabetes disappear over the next two years than people who got standard
diabetes care. The study involved 55 obese patients, age 47 on average, who
had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during the past two years. Half the
patients underwent laparoscopic gastric banding surgery, while the others
received standard care. Both groups were taught about low-fat, high-fiber
diets and encouraged to exercise, and all the study participants could meet
with a health professional every six weeks. Over the two-year study period,
the surgery patients lost an average of 46 pounds and standard-care patients
lost an average of 3 pounds. Blood tests showed diabetes remission in 22
of the 29 surgery patients, compared to only four of the 26 patients in the
non-surgery group. Those who lost the most weight were most likely to see
ALVESCO(R) (ciclesonide) Inhalation
Nycomed announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ALVESCO(R)
(ciclesonide) Inhalation Aerosol in the United States for the maintenance
treatment of asthma and as prophylactic therapy in adult and adolescent patients
aged 12 years and older. ALVESCO(R) is an inhaled corticosteroid with novel
release and distribution properties. Commercialisation and marketing of ALVESCO(R)
will be achieved through a U.S. commercial partner. The decision of
the FDA allows the product to be sold in the largest pharmaceutical market
in the world, where it is patent protected until 2017. Nycomed is in
active negotiations with possible marketing partners for the commercialisation
of ALVESCO(R) in the United States. The outlicensing strategy in the U.S.
is consistent with Nycomed's direction to seek marketing and commercialisation
partnerships for the Nycomed's assets in the U.S. market.
ALVESCO(R) is a new generation of inhaled corticosteroid that reduces inflammatory
processes and is indicated for the use in patients with asthma. ALVESCO(R)
has been approved in 45 countries including the U.S. and introduced in 30,
with more launches expected in 2008. ALVESCO(R) is based on the active
ingredient ciclesonide which is Nycomed's patented corticosteroid with a novel
principle of action. Ciclesonide is a prodrug that is activated by intracellular
esterases following oral inhalation. ALVESCO(R) has wide inhibitory activities
against multiple inflammatory cell types and chemicals involved in the asthmatic
Researchers at the University of Illinois have found a simple solution to
a problem that has plagued scientists for decades: the tendency of chemical
buffers used to maintain the pH of laboratory samples to lose their efficacy
as the samples are cooled. The research team, headed by chemistry professor
Yi Lu, developed a temperature-independent pH (TIP) buffer that maintains
a desired pH at a range of low temperatures. The study appears this
month in Chemical Communications.
Administering flu vaccines under the tongue may be more effective and offer
more protection than injecting or inhaling the drug, a study with mice in
South Korea has found in an article published in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences.
India’s oil reserves will last just another 19.3 years at the current rate
of production, according to the BP Statistical Review of World energy 2007,
which was released by the British multinational company. India is in the company
of Australia, Italy and Brazil, whose reserves are also projected to last
for 20 to 21 years from now. Iraq and Kuwait’s reserves are expected
to last for more than 100 years at their current rate of production, while
that of Saudi Arabia is projected to last for another 66 years.
At the present level of exploitation of coal reserves, the coal deposits
in India may not last long either. Based on the speculation about the reserves
of crude oil and coal, India would become a net importer of crude oil and
coal after two to three decades which are not far away.
Surges Past India
China's willingness to get aggressive in protecting biopharma's intellectual
property is being credited with its surge past India in the total number
of completed and ongoing clinical trials. High Court of Tamilnadu in Chennai
ruled against Novartis on Gleevec, which is helping accelerate a trend away
from the Indian continent.
Meanwhile, China's generics industry is gearing up for an onslaught on
the U.S. market. A drug maker this summer won the first FDA approval for
a Chinese-made pill, in this case, an HIV remedy; others aren't far behind.
And when you consider that India's drug exports were few and far between
just 10 years ago--and how that country's drug industry has affected pharma
since--it's clear that a Chinese push could send enormous ripples through
the market. The country already has a big presence in active-ingredient
manufacturing. That's a base generics-makers can build upon fairly quickly.
Indo-French Nuclear Deal
Nuclear scientists in India and France will be working more closely together
after several agreements were signed on 25 January during French President
Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to New Delhi. Indian researchers will participate
in the construction of the Jules Horowitz research reactor, being built in
Cadarache, France. They will also work with scientists at the GANIL heavy-ion
accelerator in Caen. Under another agreement, a neuroscience laboratory
will be set up in India by India's National Brain Research Centre, the University
of Paris and French medical research centre INSERM. Delhi University
and Grenoble University will set up two new joint master's programmes, in
nanosciences and nuclear engineering. And additionally, India's Council of
Scientific and Industrial Research and its French counterpart the CNRS will
partner in green-chemistry approaches to find therapeutic agents for cancer
and neurological disorders.
Roughly half of India's 1.1 billion citizens have no electricity — instead
millions of villagers use biomass and cattle-dung cakes to provide the energy
for heating and cooking. Cities are polluted with particulate matter from
diesel engines and coal-fired plants. Development threatens ecosystems and
animal species such as the iconic tiger. Meanwhile, India's economy
craves energy to feed its impressive nearly double-digit growth in gross
domestic product — leaving some worried about its growing carbon footprint.
Use of alternative energy sources such as wind, biofuels and solar power
is being expanded, but their contributions are dwarfed by demand. Even as
the country churns out thousands of scientists and engineers, energy and
environmental policies lie fallow — there is sometimes insufficient political
will for them to become engines for change. To compound matters, the country's
ministries often fight among themselves for power and leverage.
Good science and science policies need a government that helps rather than
hinders — they also need good scientists. Science, Technology and environment
budget for 2005-06 was a pitiful 3% equivalent of USD 3 billion. In
the US, the NIH alone invests over $28 billion annually in medical research.
More than 80% of the NIH’s funding is awarded through almost 50,000 competitive
grants to more than 325,000 researchers at over 3,000 universities, medical
schools, and other research institutions in every state and around the world.
About 10% of the NIH’s budget supports projects conducted by nearly
6,000 scientists in its own laboratories, most of which are on the NIH campus
in Bethesda, Maryland.
Source: The primary sources
cited above, BBC News, New York
Times (NYT), Washington Post (WP), Mercury
News, Bayarea.com, Chicago Tribune,
USA Today, Intellihealthnews, Deccan
Chronicle (DC), the Hindu, Hindustan
Times, Times of India, AP, Reuters,
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