Human Genome Sciences, Inc. reported that it has filed for marketing approval of its hepatitis C drug Zalbin [albinterferon alfa-2b]." Human Genome "did not say when it expected a response to its biologics license application," but did say that "its partner Novartis AG will file for European Union approval before the end of 2009." The company plans "to market the drug under the name Joulferon" outside of the US.
FDA delays decision on drug to treat hospital-acquired pneumonia.
Theravance, Inc. said that the Food and Drug Administration delayed a decision on whether to approve its infection drug Vitabiv [telavancin] as treatment for hospital-acquired pneumonia." The FDA "asked for more data and analysis on patients who participated in clinical trials of Vitabiv," according to the company. The agency also "wants more information about deaths in Theravance's clinical trials, comparing patients on Vitabiv to those on other treatments, as well as details on why Theravance combined data for two trials.
NHS decides not to make sorafenib, bevacizumab available.
In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) has decided not to make two more cancer drugs available because of cost." According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the use of "sorafenib (Nexavar) for liver cancer and...bevacizumab (Avastin) for metastatic colorectal cancer" is "not cost-effective." But, the decision on bevacizumab "is preliminary, and the manufacturer, Roche, has said that it will continue to work with NICE on making the drug available." The moves "have sparked headlines about cancer patients being denied life-prolonging drugs" as well as criticism from some oncologists. Karol Sikora, MD, medical director of Cancer Patterns UK, noted that "the British decision about sorafenib puts it 'hopelessly out of step with the rest of Europe,' because every other country within the European Union makes the drug available."
FDA delays decision on Exalgo.
The Boston Business Journal reported that the FDA "has advised Cambridge-based CombinatoRx Inc. and Canada-based Neuromed Pharmaceuticals Inc. that it will put off making a decision on whether to approve the companies' pain drug target," called Exalgo (hydromorphone HCl), "for three months." The agency said the companies "may need to submit additional data," and that "it will now complete its review by Feb. 22, 2010."