Business briefs: Shire, AthenaHealth, GSK, Novartis
AthenaHealth's news tear continued Monday, with the announcement that it has synced up with Aetna's mobile health group iTriage, reported Mobihealth News. The move will put AthenaHealth's database of 40,000 providers in the hands of around 8 million iTriage users who use the app to research medications and conditions, as well as to find healthcare providers and book appointments. Patient access is contingent upon one other bit of information: it's available to healthcare providers who also use the scheduling and interaction service athenaCommunicator. Aetna bought iTriage in 2011.
FDA has delayed approval of GSK's H5N1 bird-flu vaccine citing “an administrative matter that needs to be verified,” the British drugmaker said in a statement today. In November, an FDA panel voted unanimously to approve the vaccine. Since that advisory nod, new data has surfaced showing a relationship between GSK's H1N1 vaccine, Pandemrix, and narcolepsy. A company spokesperson, however, said that the delay was unrelated to the narcolepsy data.
On Friday, Novartis gained approval of its cystic fibrosis inhaler, TOBI Podhaler, which delivers antibiotics more quickly than liquid formulations. Its approval followed a 13-1 advisory nod this past September and a study that demonstrated an increase of 12.5% on a breathing test compared to .9% on placebo. Inhaled antibiotics help combat persistent lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis.