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Archive for the 'Pharmaceutical' Category

Vision-Sciences’ loss narrows in first quarter

August
14

Vision-Sciences Inc. reported today that it lost $100,000 in its fiscal first quarter, less than the $1.4 million it lost a year ago.

The Orangeburg-based medical-device maker said the reduced loss was primarily the result of a one-time $3 million gain related to sale of assets last year to Medtronic Xomed Inc.

On a per-share basis Vision-Sciences’ earnings were flat in the current-year quarter, compared to a loss of 4 cents a share a year ago.

Revenues during the quarter, which ended June 30, rose 21 percent to $2.9 million, from $2.4 million last year, it said.

The company’s shares, traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market, ended today’s trading down 4 cents to $4.59 a share.

Posted by David Schepp on Thursday, August 14th, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
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Higher losses reported at EpiCept

August
11

EpiCept Corp. of Eastview reported higher second-quarter losses after its successful challenge of European regulators’ negative opinion of its leukemia treatment Ceplene.
EpiCept said it had a net loss of $7.77 million, or 15 cents a share, on revenue of $42,000. For the comparable quarter a year earlier, it had a net loss of $7.04 million, or 22 cents a share, on revenue of $100,000. The weighted average of outstanding common stock rose from 32.4 million shares to 52 million shares in the period.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Monday, August 11th, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
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Emisphere says staff moves cut costs

August
11

Second-quarter losses at Emisphere Technologies Inc. were reduced as the company’s 2007 decision to move management from Eastview to New Jersey and to cut staff helped reduce expenses, it said.
Emisphere reported a net loss of $7.63 million, or 25 cents a share, on revenue of $14,000. For the comparable quarter a year earlier, it had a net loss of $12.1 million, or 43 cents a share, on revenue of $398,000.
A new management team last year shook up the biotech researcher. It moved its senior management from The Landmark at Eastview to new headquarters 50 miles away in Cedar Knolls, N.J., south of Parsippany.
By splitting its campus, it was able to trade laboratory space in Westchester at some $50 a square foot for office space in New Jersey at about $20 a square foot, company spokesman Bob Madison said.
Emisphere also cut staff since last year by about 40 percent, chiefly people in information technology, finance, and human resources, he said. It currently employs 71 people. The cost-cutting has saved the business about $1 million annually, he said.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Monday, August 11th, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
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BioScrip profit rises in second quarter

July
31

BioScrip Inc. reported today profits in the latest quarter more than tripled compared a year ago on higher revenues and lower operating expenses.

Net income rose to $1.6 million in the three months ending June 30, the company said, up from $482,000 in the year-ago quarter.

On a per-share basis, the Elmsford-based specialty pharmaceutical company reported it earned 4 cents a share, compared to a penny a share last year.

Revenues rose 18.2 percent to $348.4 million from $294.7 million a year ago.

Among highlights for the quarter, BioScrip noted that revenues in its specialty-services unit rose 25.3 percent above last year’s levels.

Posted by David Schepp on Thursday, July 31st, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
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Emisphere reports upbeat results in drug tests

July
28

Emisphere Technologies Inc. said today new study results show an oral form of vitamin B12 that the company is developing reduced the amount of time it took for the body to absorb the nutrient, while increasing the amount of the nutrient that was absorbed.

Developing an effective oral form of the nutrient may save millions of Americans from painful injections, needed to ensure they get adequate levels of vitamin B12.

The study, which involved 20 men divided into four groups, showed vitamin B12 absorption was 10 times higher in those given a supplement using Emisphere’s eligen technology, according to the Cedar Knolls, N.J.-based company, which employs 60 workers in research and development at the Landmark at Eastview office complex.

Eligen, which the company has been developing in some form for years, essentially chaperons the nutrient through the digestive system, where it would otherwise be destroyed, into the bloodstream.

Data from the study hold “real promise for improving the way we approach vitamin B12 supplementation,” said Donald W. Jacobsen, professor of molecular medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

At least 5 million people a year in the United States receive some 40 million B-12 injections to treat a range of debilitating diseases.

Shares of the company at midday were up by nearly 7 percent to $3.29 a share.

Posted by David Schepp on Monday, July 28th, 2008 at 11:09 am |
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EpiCept stock jumps after drug review

July
25

EpiCept Corp. of Eastview saw its stock price jump after it said it obtained a key European approval for Ceplene, its treatment for a common form of adult leukemia. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use issued a positive opinion regarding the marketing of Ceplene. The drug is administered in conjunction with low-dose Interleuken 2. Stock of EpiCept closed today at 81 cents, up 51 cents.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Friday, July 25th, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
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Barr reaches licensing deal with Bayer

June
24

Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Montvale, N.J., with research and manufacturing operations in Pomona, said it has a deal to market and distribute generic versions of Bayer’s Yasmin and Yaz oral contraceptives in the United States. Bayer will provide the drugs to Barr before the patents expire, and Barr will sell them under the Barr Laboratories label. Barr said the deal allows the company to launch its own authorized generic versions of the drugs years before the patent expirations. Yasmin had reported sales of $575 million in the 12 months ending in April, while Yaz had sales of $384 million in that period.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
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Research exec leaves Progenics Pharmaceuticals

May
23

Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Eastview said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Dr. Alton B. Kremer, its senior vice president of clinical research, had resigned on May 20 to pursue other interests.
Kremer had joined the company in October 2004. Last year he was paid $380,000 in salary and a $245,000 bonus, among other compensation, according to Progenics’ proxy statement.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Friday, May 23rd, 2008 at 10:46 am |
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Progenics stock rises on drug trial news

May
22

Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Eastview and its research partner, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, announced good and bad news concerning drug trials on its treatment for side effects of painkillers. Investors focused on the positive, and Progenics stock rose 9.79 percent today.
The companies said that a phase 2 study of an oral form of its Relistor drug for the treatment of constipation showed statistically significant improvements in patients. A phase 3 study of an intravenous form of Relistor on post-operative gastrointestinal function, however, fell short of research goals.
Progenics stock closed at $14.47, up $1.29.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
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IntegraMed America expands fertility refund program

May
21

IntegraMed America Inc. of Purchase, which operates fertility clinics, said it is expanding the services it will cover under a program that offers refunds in the event that patients are unable to deliver babies following treatment.
Qualified patients in the Shared Risk Refund Program are entitled to up to 100 percent of certain fees paid to the company if their in-vitro fertilization treatments fail to result in a successful delivery.
IntegraMed said it was expanding the program to include refunds of costs related to obtaining donor eggs, including donor recruitment, screening, compensation, and medications.
Citing a report by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the company said that donor egg recipients represent the fastest growing segment of in-vitro fertilization volume nationally. Treatments can cost up to $25,000.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
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IntegraMed America expands fertility refund program

May
21

IntegraMed America Inc. of Purchase, which operates fertility clinics, said it is expanding the services it will cover under a program that offers refunds in the event that patients are unable to deliver babies following treatment.
Qualified patients in the Shared Risk Refund Program are entitled to up to 100 percent of certain fees paid to the company if their in-vitro fertilization treatments fail to result in a successful delivery.
IntegraMed said it was expanding the program to include refunds of costs related to obtaining donor eggs, including donor recruitment, screening, compensation, and medications.
Citing a report by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the company said that donor egg recipients represent the fastest growing segment of in-vitro fertilization volume nationally. Treatments can cost up to $25,000.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
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Regeneron stock falls on test data

May
21

Disappointing data in a clinical trial of a treatment for ovarian cancer sent stock in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Eastview tumbling today.
The company and its research partner, Sanofti-aventis of Paris, said that a phase 2 study of 215 women with advanced ovarian cancer showed no significant response to a drug called aflibercept. The compound is a fused protein that aims to inhibit the growth of tumors by starving them of blood.
Regeneron stock was down as much as 16 percent. It closed yesterday at $18.58, down $2.89 or 13.5 percent. It was down 23.1 percent for the year.
In a statement, the company said there are few treatment options for advanced ovarian cancer.
“We and Sanofi-aventis are continuing to evaluate the data from this trial in order to determine the next steps for aflibercept in advanced ovarian cancer,” Dr. George Yancopoulos, Regeneron’s president, said in the statement.
Sanofi is Regeneron’s largest shareholder, with 19 percent of its stock.
Joseph Pantginis, an analyst who follows the company for Canaccord Adams, said part of the selloff in the stock may have been related to the larger drop in the markets yesterday. The announcement contained some good news about other drug trial results, he said, and Regeneron and Sanofi are testing aflibercept in four phase 3 trials that combine the drug with chemotherapy.
“Overall, the profile of the drug still looks very promising for other indications,” said Pantginis, a former scientist at Regeneron. He said he holds no shares of company stock.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
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Study shows drug prices vary considerably

May
5

For consumers who pay for prescription drugs out their own pockets, a new price study by Yonkers-based Consumer Reports finds it pays to shop around.

The consumer publication’s research showed that not only that prices vary from store to store for the same, but the differences can be dramatic — even within the same chain, depending on location.

Consumer Reports placed calls to 163 pharmacies nationwide to gauge price differences among four prescription drugs, three name brand medicines and one generic. For a three-month supply of pills for the urinary incontinence drug Detrol, for example, the price ranged from $365 to $551.

The magazine also found significant price disparities for the two other name-brand drugs it studied: for Plavix (which prevents blood clots), the spread was $382-$541, and for Levoxyl (for treating hypothyroidism), prices ran from $29 to $85. And for the generic alendronate (for osteoporosis), the price range was $124 to $306.

The magazine’s small scale market-basket study showed Costco was the cheapest for the four drugs CR sought quotes for, followed by AARP.com and Wal-Mart. Walgreens and Rite-Aid were among the priciest for the four drugs.

Besides calling different stores and comparison shopping, other cost-saving tips include:

• Don’t rule out independents: Though they’re not the cheapest overall, many mom-and-pop pharmacies are highly competitive and offer top notch service.

• Talk to your employer: Benefits administrators can provide details about pharmacy benefit managers, also known as PBMs.

• Buy generics: They can cost 20 to 50 percent less than their brand name equivalents.

• See if there’s a discount program: Some stores have programs for those 50 and older; other programs are open to anyone without insurance.

The full report is available for free now at www.ConsumerReportsHealth.org, or in the June issue of Consumer Reports magazine available on newsstands tomorrow.

Posted by David Schepp on Monday, May 5th, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
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White Plains firm critical of FDA’s review of drug

April
18

Two consumer-advocacy organizations are criticizing a U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation into a generic version of a popular, once-daily dose antidepressant, calling the regulatory agency’s review “inadequate.”

White Plains-based ConsumerLab.com and The People’s Pharmacy, of Durham, N.C., faulted a affirmative determination by the FDA that a generic version of Wellbutrin XL 300, manufactured by Impax Laboratories and distributed by Teva Pharmaceuticals,  because the findings were based on information from a lower dose of the drug.

In reporting its findings this week, the FDA said the generic version, marketed as Budeprion XL 300 milligrams, was “safe and effective.” The agency also said the generic version was equivalent, and therefore interchangeable with, Wellbutrin XL 300.

Calling the FDA’s findings disappointing, ConsumerLab.com and The People’s Lab said there was no evidence that the FDA evaluated the generic drug fully.

“For the FDA to say that it has reviewed the safety and efficacy of this product is not correct,” said Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com.

“The FDA is misleading the public by publishing a positive review which actually provides no data for the 300 milligram product – the strength about which people are complaining,” said Joe Graedon of The People’s Pharmacy (www.peoplespharmacy.com).

The agency undertook its investigation after receiving complaints that patients taking the branded product experienced a loss of effectiveness when switched to the generic pill. Further, patients reported new onset or worsening of side effects.

Posted by David Schepp on Friday, April 18th, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
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Emisphere drug proves positive in dog studies

April
16

Emisphere Technologies Inc. reported today that studies involving dogs have provided additional evidence that a technology the company is developing enhances absorption of oral vitamin B12 supplements.

The results confirm an earlier report of effectiveness in studies conducted in rats using Emisphere’s Eligen technology, which reportedly improves absorption of orally administered drugs.

About 40 million Americans undergo annual B12 injections to treat a variety of serious medical conditions. An addition 5 million people yearly consume more than 600 million B12 tablets in various strengths as nutritional supplements, Emisphere said.

Posted by David Schepp on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

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