More than 60 investigators from India gathered at the Mumbai Hyatt Hotel for a meeting hosted by Criterium (Saratoga Springs, NY) and The Thrombosis Research Institute (London, UK) meant to jump start a two-year, Phase IIB oncology study examining the incidence of symptomatic venous thrombo-embolism events in gastric cancer patients. Criterium is responsible for both providing regulatory expertise and choosing India-based investigative sites to conduct the study, which will enroll 740 patients.
In an agreement with Richard Atkinson, MD—whose titles include president of Obetech (Richmond, VA), editor of the International Journal of Obesity, and president and co-founder of the American Obesity Association (Silver Spring, MD)—Scandinavian Clinical Nutrition (SCN; Stockholm, Sweden) obtained the patent rights to adenovirus 36 (AD36), which is thought to be a major factor in the onset of obesity. The company will continue research on AD36 with the help of Atkinson and Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden). Additionally, SCN formed a subsidiary, Scandivir, which was established to develop diagnostic tests to screen for AD36 in humans, as well as to explore treatments.
Brazil will be freely distributing a new malaria treatment: a low-cost, single, fixed-dose artemisinin-based combination therapy made from artesunate and mefloquine and known as ASMQ. Brazilian company Farmanguinhos and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (Geneva, Switzerland) have been working cooperatively to bring the drug to markets at a desired price of $2.50 per adult dose. ASMQ is expected to hit Latin America and Southeast Asia between now and 2009, with India-based Cipla likely to supply Asian markets with the malaria treatment.
New Zealand looks to improve patient care as the country's Best Practice Advocacy Centre will integrate patient medical records from New Zealand's 4000 general practitioners (GPs) with InferMed's (London, UK) Arezzo, a clinical decision support software platform. Arezzo will enable GPs to view patients' electronic medical records (EMRs) in the format of their own systems: a major benefit as New Zealand currently utilizes five disparate EMR systems.