Antares Announces Results, Merck’s Bed Bug Killer: Healthcare Business Recap

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Antares Pharma (ATRS) announced that results from a study of its rheumatoid arthritis treatment to optimize methotrexate therapy, which is a commonly prescribed disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, were positive. Executive Vice President of Product Development Kaushik J. Dave said that, “Greater exposure to MTX when administered with MTX Medi-Jet could enhance the efficacy with improved response to disease control.” Shares moved up modestly on Tuesday and have risen some  69 percent thus far in 2012.

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In a premier study of bed bugs, it has been found that subjects who were treated with Merck & Co.’s (NYSE:MRK) Stromectol, also known as ivermectin, saw the parasitic worms dying in response. However, the bugs died only after obtaining blood from the patients.  Stromectol is typically indicated for diseases caused by worm parasites such as river blindness and elephantiasis, which causes certain parts of the body to become enlarged.

The European Commission on Monday granted the joint venture of Proctor & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE:TEVA) permission to sell over-the-counter drugs, saying that such a combination should not significantly elevate worries over competition. In a statement, the regulator explained that, “The Commission found that in all these markets the combined market shares of the parties remain relatively low and Procter & Gamble would continue to face sufficient competitive constraints.”

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