AstraZeneca flu season marketing; Pharma campaign contributions on the rise;


 AstraZeneca is using crafty marketing timing to get the word out about flu season by focusing on back-to-school and running a campaign alongside the presidential campaign. Report

> Pharma and health product industry campaign contributions continue to rise, with donations to Sen. Barak Obama at $900,000 and contributions to Sen. John McCain about half that; combined with contributions to Sen. Hilary Clinton, that brings the Democratic contribution total to almost three times that of the Republican total. Report

> More on Novartis: The company said FDA will fast track possible approval of its drug Gleevec (imatinib mesylate), which already has approval for certain types of cancer, for the treatment of intestinal cancer. Report

> Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer said the results of a Phase III study of apixaban showed that the anti-clotting drug so far isn't an improvement over Lovenox, and so the companies will delay the application for marketing approval. BMS and Pfizer Release

> The FDA will fast track Chelsea Therapeutics International's blood-pressure medication, Droxidopa (currently marketed in Japan), for use in the United States. Chelsea Release

> The long drought of FDA approvals for new molecular entities is occurring despite some big efforts by drug developers to push through new drugs. Report

> BioSpace takes a look at the case of Point BioMedical, which is folding its tent after losing the backing of its lead investor. Report

> Teva Pharmaceutical is touting the results of a late-stage study of Azilect, a treatment for Parkinson's disease. Researchers say the therapy hit all of its goals in the ADAGIO trial. Report

> Belgium's Galapagos has bought out Sareum's assets in drug discovery services for €695,000 euros. Report

> A new bird flu vaccine developed by Novavax from insect cell cultures proved effective in spurring an immune response in a human trial. Report

> Researchers have made great strides with denosumab using the information discovered by Amgen's Scott Simonet fourteen years ago. Report

And Finally... New experiments at the University of Rochester determined that TNF alpha works through the Smurf1 enzyme, which turns off two proteins that spur bone development. And that insight is likely to play a role in the development of new RA drugs. Report