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Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co has bought the rights to help market a new lung drug – just days after European regulators recommended it for approval.
If passed, the deal will see Merck promote the Nycomed-made Daxas, a treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema, across the EU.
The drug, taken once a day, is an anti-inflammatory pill which opens up airways in the lungs to ease breathing.
Officials from the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recommended approval of the product last Friday.
The decision came after the FDA voted in favour of the efficacy of Daxas, even though concerns over its side effects – including weight loss, cancer and increased risk of suicide – were raised by a panel of experts. A final decision is expected next month.
Copyright Press Association 2010