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Update on Drugs & Drug News, December 2005 - January 2006

UPDATE ON DRUGS

Class

Name/Company

Approval Dates and Comments

Antipsoriatic Agent

Efalizumab
RAPTIVA®
Serono

TPP Canada approved this biologic therapy in October 2005 for the treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis in adult patients (18 years or older) who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

Antiarthritic Agent

Adalimumab
HUMIRA®
Abbott Pharmaceuticals

The US FDA approved this biologic therapy in October 2005 for reducing the signs and symptoms of active arthritis in patients with psoriatic arthritis. This product can be used alone or with methotrexate or other disease modifying antirheumatic drugs.

Antipsoriatic Agent

Infliximab
REMICADE®
Centocor/ Schering- Plough

The European Commission has granted approval of this biologic therapy in October 2005 for the treatment of moderateto- severe plaque psoriasis in adults who failed to respond to, or have a contraindication to, or are intolerant of other systemic therapies including cyclosporine, methotrexate, or PUVA.

Vaccines

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hemophilus Influenza Type b Vaccine
PENTACEL™
Sanofi Pasteur MSD

The US FDA accepted a Biologics Licensing Application in September 2005 for this pediatric combination vaccine candidate that targets diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and Hemophilus influenzae type b.

Antibacterial Agent

Mupriocin Ointment 2%
Taro Pharmaceuticals

The US FDA approved an Abbreviated New Drug Application in September 2005 for this product for the treatment of impetigo. It is bioequivalent to Bactroban® Ointment 2% (GlaxoSmithKline).

Drug News

Unwanted Facial Hair Products

The commercial launch of VANIQA® (eflornithine hydrochloride) cream 13.9% in Canada was announced by Barrier Therapeutics in November 2005. VANIQA® is the only topical prescription product approved by Health Canada for slowing the growth of unwanted facial hair in women.

Wart Preparations

In a July 2005 news release from the University of Texas Southwestern, dermatologists reported that when traditional methods to remove warts fail, such as burning, freezing, application of salicylic acid and surgery, they inject Candida antigen directly into the wart. This antigen stimulates the body’s own natural defense mechanism, and they report that it is as effective in many instances as some of the more common therapies, but it doesn’t leave scarring.

Skin Filler

A hyaluronic acid dermal filler (Puragen®, Mentor Corporation) that is derived from bacterial fermentation using Mentor’s double cross-linked technology was launched in Europe in July 2005 for the treatment of wrinkles. Because it is a non-animal based product, it does not have the risks associated with other products derived from animal by-products.


  1. Treatments for Unwanted Facial Hair
  2. Famciclovir for the Treatment of Recurrent Genital and Labial Herpes Lesions
  3. Update on Drugs & Drug News, December 2005 - January 2006