Genentech pulls Raptiva

Genentech withdrew its psoriasis drug Raptiva from the market yesterday, citing the risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare, often fatal brain infection. The drug will be phased out by June 8 of this year, according to a statement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The decision comes after Genentech reported a fourth case of PML diagnosed in a 47 year old man in Germany in February, and a subsequent warning by the FDA. Three other people taking Rap

Tia Ghose
Apr 8, 2009
Genentech withdrew its psoriasis drug Raptiva from the market yesterday, citing the risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare, often fatal brain infection. The drug will be phased out by June 8 of this year, according to a statement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The decision comes after Genentech reported a fourth case of PML diagnosed in a 47 year old man in Germany in February, and a subsequent warning by the FDA. Three other people taking Raptiva have developed PML, two of whom died. Raptiva is an antibody therapy that reduces psoriasis flare-ups by suppressing T-cells. Sales of the drug were $108 million in 2008, and about 2,000 people are currently taking it, according to a statement by Genentech. The withdrawal won't hurt Genentech's bottom line much, said Simos Simeonidis, a senior biotechnology analyst and director at Rodman & Renshaw, LLC. "It was not...




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