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Pharma News: New products and new health initiatives announced

With new product developments, a respiratory treatment has been developed by AstraZeneca to treat COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) patients. The device, which has recently gained U.S. regulatory approval, is called the Bevespi Aerosphere. The device is aimed to treat airflow obstruction in COPD patients. The types of patients who could benefit from the device are those suffering with emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

The Bevespi Aerosphere combines two different medications into a single dose. One is designed to relax the airway muscles to stop them closing up and the second decreases airway mucus levels. This is the first time that the two medications have been combined in this way.

A second new development concerns the global campaign to eliminate polio. Here a new polio vaccine is being distributed in an attempt to eliminate the disease. The vaccine is intended to target the two remaining strains of the virus. In a process led by the World Health Organization, the polio vaccine change sees the current tOPV (trivalent oral polio vaccine) being replaced by bOPV (bivalent oral polio vaccine). The vaccine is orally-delivered.

A third development, GlaxoSmithKline has announced that its new antiseptic gel to prevent umbilical cord infections in new born infants has been recommended for use in Europe.

With business news, Eli Lilly’s drug Taltz (ixekizumab), approved by the FDA for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, should produce sales in above $1 billion by 2022 according to global market analysis.

Something of more a more troubling nature comes with the anti-psychotic drug olanzapine. This medication has been associated with 23 clinical responses. These are cases of Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS.) In one recent case, this led to a fatality. DRESS is associated with fever, rash, lymphadenopathy (a disease affecting the lymph nodes), and eosinophilia (atypical number of white blood cells.) This is based on data taken from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System, and reported by Pharmaceutical Processing.

The patient died due to cardiac arrest. In addition to this four of the other cases have been assessed as serious. For this reason the FDA has issued a new warning notice.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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