• Alcon (Huenenberg, Switzerland) said that it has discontinued development of anecortave acetate for the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP) associated with glaucoma. The company recently reviewed interim efficacy and safety data from more than 200 patients in a large, controlled Phase 2 trial. These data confirmed previous pilot clinical results that anecortave acetate applied through a single anterior juxtascleral injection measurably reduced IOP for an extended period of time. However, based on a detailed analysis of the data, and after gaining input from a panel of expert clinical advisers, the company determined that the amount of IOP reduction and the responder rate provided by even the highest dose were not sufficient to support this novel approach as a viable way to address the problem of patient compliance with eye drop therapy.

• Nephros (River Edge, New Jersey) reported that is has FDA approval to market its Dual Stage Ultrafilters (DSU) for in-line purification of dialysate water and bicarbonate solution. The DSU is the basis for Nephros's line of water filtration products. The dual stage cold sterilization ultrafilter has the capability to filter out bacteria and, due to its filtration levels, filter out many viruses, parasites and biotoxins. The company claims the Nephros DSU filters particles down to the 0.005-micron level and addresses dialysate contaminants at crucial points: after the reverse osmosis module and at the dialysis machine entrance from the water distribution loop. The DSU filter can be used as the last step in the water purification process to ensure ultra pure water for dialysis procedures.