Approvals For Biotech Treatments Rising

By Tonya Vinas In 2002 the Food and Drug Administration approved 35 new biotechnology treatments as well as new usages, or indications, for previously approved products, up from 24 in 2001, according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Washington, D.C. Twenty of those approved were medicines to treat diseases such as osteoporosis, hepatitis C, pulmonary arterial hypertension, cancer and multiple sclerosis. "More than half of the 168 biotech medicines available to patients and on the market today were approved in just the last five years, demonstrating the steadily accelerating growth of the biotech industry," says Carl B. Feldbaum, BIO president. Some of the companies and products to receive the approvals were: Eli Lilly and Co. (FortaFlex); Amgen (Neulasta); Swedish Orphan International AB and Rare Disease Therapeutics Inc. (Orfadin); GlaxoSmithKline (Pediarix); and IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. (Zevalin). According to BIO, FDA approvals for biotechnology treatments have been rising since 1982, when two approvals were granted. BIO represents more than 1,000 biotechnology companies and associated organizations.

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