Immunex Corp.'s Leukine GM-CSF has been approved by theFood and Drug Administration for treatment of cancer patientswhose bone marrow transplants have failed.

"This new indication establishes a survival benefit for cancerpatients who may require a bone marrow transplant and whouse Leukine," said company spokesman Jason Rubin.

Immunex's granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factorwas first approved last March to accelerate marrowengraftment following autologous bone marrow transplantationto treat certain cancers.

Up to 20 percent of the 5,000 people having autologous bonemarrow transplants that will be performed this year to treat avariety of cancers and immune system disorders mayexperience graft failure, Rubin said. "I have seen numbers thatsuggest as many as 5,000 patients may experience graft failureby 1995, based on projections of increasing use of this bonemarrow transplantation procedure for both allogenic andautologous transplants," he said.

The company (NASDAQ:IMNX) has reported $24.4 million indirect sales of Leukine through the third quarter of 1991, andit earned an additional $4.9 million, most of which was fromsales of bulk to Hoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals Inc., whichmarkets the drug under the trade name Prokine.

Immunex stock picked up 75 cents Thursday, closing at $60.

-- Kris Herbst BioWorld Washington Bureau

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