‘Dragon’s blood’ used to treat canine cancer patients

This 'blood' is sap tapped from rainforest trees.

The ‘blood’s’ actually tapped sap from rainforest trees.

No, it’s not blood, or — duh — from dragons. But a new prescription drug carrying the nickname “dragon’s blood” is being developed for animal as well as human treatment. Tapped from a substance in rainforest tree, the latest drug of its type under development is, SP-303, an isolated and purified form of the medicinal rainforest plant Croton lechleri, seeks to treat chemotherapy-induced diarrhea (CID) in dogs. Drugs for human use have already been approved.

A variant native Latin American plant’s red resin — source of the nickname among indigenous populations — gained US approval for the treatment of HIV-associated diarrhea in humans in December 2012.

The company, Jaguar Animal Health, a subsidiary of San Francisco-based Napo Pharmaceuticals, received an investigational new animal drug application (INADA) number SP-303, and seeks to file an application for this indication later in the year. Jaguar and parent Napo are exclusively focused on marketing rainforest plant-derived drugs, nutraceuticals, and food supplements.

Read more in my full story, “‘Dragon’s blood’ used to treat chemo-induced diarrhea is slotted for dogs undergoing cancer treatment,” online at Pharmaceutical Commerce.

iPhone app for prescriptions seeks to tap a new-ish $100 billion market

Goin’ mobile: How many people never fill that first prescription? Not to worry; there’s an app on the way for that, too — GetMyRx — as we reported in this story at Pharmaceutical Commerce.

getMyRxDeveloper GetMyRx Inc.’s CEO Luis Angel says “at least a few hundred” scrips have been filled” since the iPhone app’s soft launch in the Miami-Dade, Fla., market in November last year. The app links to fee-paying pharmacies in Angel’s network, as opposed to a single store or chain, and lets people enter data or scan labels as well as insurance cards, coupons and related discount cards. New York and San Fran are top-priority markets for rollout perhaps by summer, Angel told me.

This and other moves by chains are hope to combat patient abandonment issues surrounding initial prescription fills, which a Harvard study indicates may constitute 30% of patients and Angel says has gotta represent a market worth at least $100 billion.