GAMMA INTERFERON MORE EFFECTIVE AGAINST CGDGenentech Inc.'s gamma interferon is twice as effective asstandard antibiotic therapy for patients with the inheritedimmune system disorder chronic granulomatous disease (CGD),according to an article in today's New England Journal ofMedicine.
The study, involving 128 CGD patients at 13 medical centers inthe United States and Europe, found that gamma interferon canreduce by 70 percent the frequency of serious infections inpatients with CGD.
Genentech's gamma interferon, trade named Actimmune,received marketing approval from the Food and DrugAdministration last December. Genentech plans to begin sellingthe drug on March 4 for $100 a dose. CGD patients take anaverage of three doses per week to help their immune systemsward off bacterial and fungal infections.
The market for Actimmune is estimated at $58 millionannually for treating approximately 4,000 CGD patientsworldwide.
Genentech has just completed Phase II clinical trials ofActimmune as a treatment for severe atopic dermatitis. PhaseIII trials of the drug against infections following burns andother physical traumas are ongoing. -- Carol Ezzell
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