Friday, March 31, 2006

Genentech May Widen Drug's Use

Genentech May Widen Drug's Use
By Amanda Janis/Business Writer

An application to use the nation's top-selling oncology therapeutic in a new manner has been submitted to the Food and Drug Administration by Genentech and Biogen Idec, who co-market the drug in America.

If approved, Rituxan - which is one of the four products manufactured for commercial use at Genentech's Vacaville facility - could be used as a first-line treatment in combination with CVP or CHOP chemotherapy, or following CVP chemotherapy treatments, for sufferers of a specific type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Rituxan already is approved as a single agent to treat relapses for such patients.

Genentech spokeswoman Caroline Pecquet has confirmed that, should new uses for the drug be approved, the company would expect to increase production locally, and called the Vacaville facility a vital component of the biotech giant's manufacturing process.

Development of new uses for existing products is in line with Genentech's "Horizon 2010" strategic plan, goals of which include bringing into development at least 20 new molecules and marketing at least 15 new products or new uses for existing products.

Genentech discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes biotherapeutics for significant unmet medical needs.

Amanda Janis can be reached at

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