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article imageNew treatments for eye care and diabetes

By Tim Sandle     Nov 5, 2015 in Health
Washington - It has been a busy week for announcements about new medications to address serious medical conditions. Drugs are in the development pipeline for eye care and to help people manage complications associated with diabetes.
Starting with diabetes, two major pharmaceutical companies — Sanofi and Hanmi Pharmaceutical — have signed an agreement to develop experimental, long-acting diabetes treatments. The medications include efpeglenatide, which is intended to help with diabetes-related weight loss.
Development work, Pharma File reports, will make use of a platform called Lapscovery, with a focus on extending the biological activity of drugs so that they last longer in the body and the patient requires fewer doses.
With eye treatments, the U.K. is set to approve the drug Ikervis (generic name ciclosporin) for the treatment of severe keratitis in adult patients with dry eye disease. The drug is manufactured by the company Santen. Keratitis is a condition where the eye's cornea becomes inflamed.
In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing the suitability of a Shire Pharmaceuticals drug called lifitegrast, designed for the topical treatment of dry eye disease.
In related pharmaceuticals news, five treatments, for seven different types of cancer, have been reinstated to the Cancer Drugs Fund in England. The drugs had been dropped because they were either considered too expensive or the clinical outcome was not regarded as justifying the cost.
The British Prime Minister David Cameron used the establishment of a cancer drug fund as one of his election pledges leading up to the May 2015 poll. The fund was swiftly established only to go overspent in three months. The initial response from the government was to suspend the fund; this met with press and public criticism and the fund has been re-established and additional medications included.
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