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Pharmaceutical industry news round-up

Starting with Novartis, the European Union has granted approval for the drug Revolade (generic name eltrombopag.) This medicine is licensed for use for cases severe aplastic anaemia. Aplastic anemia is a disease in which the bone marrow, and the blood stem cells that reside there, are damaged. Symptoms include malaise, pallor and palpitations. There is also an increased risk of hemorrhage and infection.

Revolade was originally developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). It was obtained by Novartis following a $16 billion purchase of GSK’s oncology drug range in 2014. European approval follows studies carried out at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Further with Novartis, Europe has also given approval for the medications Tafinlar (generic name dabrafenib) and Mekinist (generic name trametinib) to be used in combination for patients who are suffering with severe types of melanoma skin cancer.

Moving onto Bayer, a report into its product Xantus has yielded good results. The report concludes that 96 percent of people treated with Bayer’s anticoagulant Xarelto (generic name rivaroxaban) do not experience any major bleeding, related side effects or death. The trial, Pharmafile reports, was conducted at St George’s University of London and the data was presented to a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.

Anticoagulants are a class of drugs that work to prevent the coagulation (clotting) of blood. The medications are used to prevent conditions like deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke (arising from blood clots.)

Finally, news relating to Boehringer and Lilly. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the medication Synjardy, from Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly, for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes. The new medication is made up of two parts — a combination of the drugs empagliflozin and metformin. These two drugs have complementary mechanisms of action. The drugs help control blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes.

Paul Fonteyne, president and chief executive of Boehringer Ingelheim, stated on behalf of both companies: “Synjardy is now the fifth FDA-approved medicine to emerge from the BI-Lilly Diabetes alliance pipeline in the last four years. No two people with diabetes are alike, and every experience is different. Our alliance is proud to offer a diverse portfolio of treatments that can help patients throughout their diabetes journey.”

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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