Company news: testosterone treatment boom, AstraZeneca

Drug makers have upped their promotional spending for testosterone therapy by more than 170% over the past three years, to more than $14 million last year, and prescriptions have jumped almost 90% over the past five, reported the Washington Post. The news outlet noted that the surge in the male anti-aging prescription market culminated in $1.9 billion in global sales last year, but that government researchers aren't sold on the treatments. “Evidence of the benefits of testosterone is mixed, and the potential health risks are serious,” reported the Post, which noted that the National Institute on Aging has an 800-man trial underway to test purported benefits of testosterone, such as sexual function, energy and memory, among men 65 and older. Results are expected in 2014.

AstraZeneca has removed its Phase I obesity treatment, AZD2820, from its slate of pipeline contenders, reported Dow Jones. The wire service said a severe reaction was behind the drug maker's decision to pull support from the AZN-Palatin collaboration, but noted that the patient's illness had not been directly linked to the experimental treatment.