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An injectable drug used to treat liver failure following overdoses of pain killers could soon be used to increase the chances of survival of those people waiting for a liver transplant for other reasons.
Cumberland Pharmaceuticals has filed an application with US regulators for the expanded use of its Acetadote drug, launched in 2004, which is already approved to counteract overdoses of acetaminophen – widely used in pain relievers – and can be used for paediatric patients.
The company has carried out trials on 173 patients which revealed that patients with acute liver failure not tied to acetaminophen toxicity have a “significantly improved chance of survival without a transplant” when treated with Acetadote.
It has put the results from the clinical trials in its supplemental new drug application filed with the US Food and Drug Administration.
By reducing the immediate need of a liver transplant for some patients, Acetadote could give valuable time to find more suitable donors and it would allow those cases that remain urgent to be prioritised.
Cumberland’s chief executive AJ Kazimi said: “If approved for this new indication, we believe Acetadote will bring potentially lifesaving treatment to a broader group of patients who have few alternatives.”
Copyright Press Association 2010