IPFMA; World Year of of Physics; Einstein Year; Rotarix; Iressa; AstraZeneca; Iressa; Bayer Healthcare; Levitra

  • The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and related organisations worldwide are to coordinate an industry-wide programme to improve access to clinical trial data. The programme will include data from current and completed trials and will be publicly available on the internet.
  • GlaxoSmithKline has launched its first vaccine against rotavirus infection Rotarix, in Mexico. The vaccine is designed for use in infants and children aged six to 36 months. Rotavirus infection is the leading cause of severe diarrhoea and vomiting in children in this age group worldwide, causing about 440 000 deaths each year.
  • 2005 is the international World Year of Physics. The UK and Ireland are participating by celebrating Einstein Year. It is 100 years since the publication of Einstein’s three ground-breaking papers on special relativity, photoelectric effect and Brownian motion. Einstein year organisers aim to raise awareness and enthusiasm for physics.
  • AstraZeneca is to withdraw its European application for marketing authorisation for the drug Iressa (genfitinib). The decision was made in consultation with the European Medicines Agency because the survival rates for the drug would not meet the approved requirements of the current application. The status of Iressa in the US and Japan is still under consideration.
  • Bayer Healthcare has announced that co-promotion rights with GlaxoSmithKline to the drug Levitra are to be transferred back to Bayer in many of the major markets outside the US. Levitra acts in the same way as Viagra by blocking the enzyme PDE-5 and was launched as a rival, but sales have been disappointing. Bayer agreed to the transfer for € 208 million (?145 million) and says it will remain solely responsible for marketing and is not looking for another partner.