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Bristol-Myers Gets FDA Approval on New Transplant Drug

June 16, 2011
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The first new type of drug in more than a decade for keeping transplanted kidneys functioning won approval from federal regulators, according to the Associated Press. The Food and Drug Administration approved Nulojix, developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., for preventing rejection of a transplanted kidney in adult patients, despite concerns about serious possible side effects. It was approved for use along with other medicines that suppress the immune system, including corticosteroids. Without immune suppressants, a patient''s body would reject the new kidney as a foreign object and attack it. If other drugs can''t counteract that rejection, the kidney could stop its crucial job of filtering toxins from the blood, and the patient would have to undergo hours-long dialysis three times a week. Even with the best care, about half of patients either die or have their new kidney stop working in roughly 8 to 10 years, said Dr. Brian Daniels, senior vice president for global development and medical affairs at New York-based Bristol-Myers.

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