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The Novartis breast cancer pill Femara can significantly reduce the chances that a woman's cancer will return, even long after she has stopped taking the estrogen blocker tamoxifen, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Post-menopausal women who took the med anywhere from one to seven years after finishing a five-year regimen of tamoxifen reduced the risk the cancer would come back by 63 percent. "What our results have shown for the first time in breast cancer treatment history is that taking an anti-estrogen anywhere along that line appears to have a dramatic reduction in the risk of recurrence," Paul Goss of Massachusetts General Hospital tells Reuters.
Bayer agreed to buy the over-the-counter medicines unit from Sagmel to expand in eastern Europe. Details weren't disclosed. The acquisition gives Bayer the painkiller Theraflex, the hemorrhoid treatment Relief and the Calcemin, Theravit and Jungle supplements, Bloomberg News writes.
A compound that looked promising for treating a brain tumor found mostly in children may damage growing bone - possibly making it too dangerous to use in young patients. The Genentech drug, known as HhAntag, fully eradicated medulloblastoma tumors in mice in 2004, but further testing showed it caused permanent bone damage in immature mice, according to a study in Cancer Cell. The drug will need to be developed with caution, Reuters writes.
Merck KGaA is planning to make further acquisitions in the pharmaceuticals segment, ceo Karl-Ludwig Kley told Die Welt. "Here (in the OTC segment), we see opportunities for acquisitions and we have already looked around,' Kley said. Less than two years ago, Merck took over Swiss competitor Serono after it failed to take over Schering AG. Until now, Merck has benefited from its chemical segment, especially in the area of liquid crystals, which are used in flat screen televisions and computer screens, but Kley is expecting tougher competition in the flat screen TV business.