Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Tysabri pulled from the market

The debacle over faulty drugs besetting the pharmaceutical industry has now spread to the biotech sector, with one of its best performing companies and a partner pulling their highly touted multiple sclerosis drug from the market after one patient died and another fell seriously ill.

The FDA approved the drug in November and Tysabri accounted for $3 million in sales for Biogen in 2004 while Elan rang up $6.4 million in sales in the fourth quarter, counting on Tysabri to help restore it to profitability by next year.

The companies said the decision came after recent reports of two cases of serious effects among patients who used the drug along with Avonex, Biogen Idec's earlier MS treatment, in clinical trials.