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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Sanofi sues Lilly over challenge to top diabetes drug Lantus

By Bill Berkrot and Natalie Huet

NEW YORK/PARIS (Reuters) – French drugmaker Sanofi sued Eli Lilly and Co for alleged patent infringements concerning its top-selling Lantus diabetes treatment, delaying the U.S. company’s plans to produce its own version of the drug.

Lantus is the world’s most prescribed insulin product, with annual worldwide sales of about $7 billion. It is set to lose patent protection in the United States, the world’s largest pharmaceutical market, in February 2015.

Sanofi’s lawsuit, filed on Thursday, triggers an automatic 30-month stay of approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, keeping Lilly’s biosimilar drug off the U.S. market until mid-2016, more than a year later than its previously expected launch date.

Sanofi’s shares were higher in earlier trading, but ended down 0.8 percent at 72.80 euros. Shares in Denmark’s Novo Nordisk, whose own rival to Lantus, called Levemir, accounts for 15 percent of its sales, rose 3.64 percent to 219 Danish crowns.

“Any delay provides Sanofi and Novo increased pricing power in the $6 billion U.S. basal insulin market,” Citigroup analysts wrote.

Deutsche Bank analysts said the move also raised the possibility of a further, multiyear extension of exclusivity for Lantus if, in the end, the court found that Sanofi’s patents had indeed been infringed.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, comes a month after Eli Lilly applied to the FDA for permission to sell a biosimilar version of Lantus, known chemically as insulin glargine.

Indianapolis-based Lilly, in its […]

By |January 31st, 2014|blogs|0 Comments

Sleep’s Best-Kept Secret: A Treatment for Insomnia That’s Not a Pill

Do you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep? Or go to bed early but still wake up tired? Or keep waking up during the night? Then you’re among the more than 20% of people in the U.S. who suffer from a sleeping disorder like insomnia and your doctor is probably prescribing sleeping pills to help you doze through the night.

That’s despite the fact that the gold standard for treating sleep disturbances, recommended by the National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI). CBTI, which focuses on changing behaviors that can contribute to poor sleep, has been shown to work long-term while sleeping medications tend to lose effectiveness after a few weeks (sleep medications may, however, be prescribed as part of CBTI).

So why are pills the most common solution? Convenience, for one. Even if you’re willing to seek out a sleep experts who is qualified to give CBTI, you may not find one near you. Despite the epidemic of sleep disorders and their impact on health, there are only a few hundred sleep experts in the whole country.

MORE: A Sleeping Pill Without The Sleepy Head?

Doctors may also be unaware of the therapy. “I do not think […]

By |January 31st, 2014|blogs|0 Comments

Girl Has 2nd Brain Surgery to Alleviate Painful ‘Suicide Disease’

When KatieRose Hamilton has a headache, she can’t just take an aspirin and lie down. Instead her headaches, which are related to a condition called trigeminal neuralgia, leave her incapacitated, unable to do anything but lie down in a darkened room, barely able to move.

KatieRose’s mother, Megan Hamilton, said when her daughter is suffering from these intense headaches, there is nothing they can do for her.

“When she has attacks, it is sobbing, kicking her feet, moaning, begging God to make it stop,” Hamilton told ABCNews.com. “It’s awful. As her parent, I would lay there and sob beside her.”

KatieRose suffers from a disorder called trigeminal neuralgia (TN), which affects the cranial nerve called the trigeminal and leads to intense, sometimes burning, or stabbing pain. The trigeminal nerve is one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head and these painful episodes can last for hours, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Usually the pain is caused by some kind of artery or vein compressing the nerve as it pulses. Eventually the pulsing can damage the nerve leading to intense pain.

Trigeminal neuralgia can be so painful for patients that it has been nicknamed the “suicide disease” for driving people to suicide in search of relief. The disease usually affects people over 50 and usually women.

“You know those thick kitchen knives? It feels like someone is stabbing that in the side of my head for like two to three hours and there’s nothing you can do,” KatieRose told […]

By |January 31st, 2014|blogs|0 Comments

Sanofi sues Eli Lilly over challenge to top diabetes drug Lantus

By Bill Berkrot and Natalie Huet

NEW YORK/PARIS (Reuters) – French drugmaker Sanofi is suing Eli Lilly and Co for alleged patent infringements concerning its top-selling Lantus diabetes treatment, delaying the U.S. firm’s plans to produce a copycat version of Lantus.

Lantus is the world’s most prescribed insulin product, with annual worldwide sales of about $7 billion, but is set to lose patent protection in the United States, the world’s largest pharmaceutical market, in February 2015.

Sanofi’s lawsuit, filed on Thursday, triggers an automatic 30-month stay of approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), keeping Lilly’s biosimilar drug off the U.S. market until mid-2016, more than a year later than its previously expected launch date.

Sanofi’s shares were up 0.7 percent at 73.87 euros by 0947 GMT. Shares in Denmark’s Novo Nordisk, whose own rival to Lantus, called Levemir, accounts for 15 percent of group sales, were 3 percent higher at 217.60 Danish crowns.

“Any delay provides Sanofi and Novo increased pricing power in the $6bn U.S. basal insulin market,” Citigroup analysts wrote.

Deutsche Bank analysts said the move also raised the possibility of a further, multi-year extension of exclusivity for Lantus if, in the end, the court found that Sanofi’s patents had indeed been infringed.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, comes a month after Eli Lilly applied to the FDA for permission to sell a biosimilar version of Lantus, known chemically as insulin glargine.

Indianapolis-based Lilly, in its submission, challenged […]

By |January 31st, 2014|blogs|0 Comments

Yoga may reduce fatigue after breast cancer

By Andrew M. Seaman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Participating in yoga classes after treatment for breast cancer was linked to reduced fatigue and inflammation and increased vitality among women in a new study.

Researchers found that breast cancer survivors who took 12 weeks of yoga classes ended up with reduced inflammation and felt less tired after six months, compared to a similar group of women who didn’t take yoga classes.

“This may be a way to provide a good activity that also has other benefits,” Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health.

Kiecolt-Glaser is an investigator at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Care Center and the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research in Columbus.

She and her colleagues write in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that cancer survivors are twice as likely to have poor health and more disability, compared to people without a history of cancer.

That may be partially explained by less exercise and activity during and after cancer treatment, which may increase inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation has been tied to increased risks for death and a number of health disorders.

Previous research has also found that inflammation tends to be elevated among cancer survivors and people who don’t do a lot physical activity.

Yoga may be one way to get breast cancer survivors moving again, because its intensity can be tailored to an individual’s limits. Yoga has also been linked to reduced fatigue among cancer survivors through better sleep (see Reuters Health story […]

By |January 31st, 2014|blogs|0 Comments