FDA approves Biogen drug for psoriasis  

FDA approves Amevive, one of the products Biogen has slated for manufacture at its brand new production facility in Denmark

The US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has approved Biogen's product Amevive (alefacept) for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis, a disease which affects about 80 million people worldwide. Amevive is a protein-based drug developed in living cells which suppresses the overactive immune defences in the patient’s skin by reducing the number of "disease messenger" T cells. The treatment must however be closely monitored by the physician since the immunosuppressant nature of Amevive can increase the risk of infections and other diseases. Amevive will be produced at the new factory which Biogen is about to build just north of Copenhagen (the first sod is due to be lifted 27 March 2003).


Biogen's new plant is the company's first production facility outside of the US, and will produce products for the European market as well as serving in a backup capacity for the US market. Biogen's multiple sclerosis treatment Avonex (Interferon beta 1a) will be the first product put into production, although the company says the factory's principal role will be to produce the aforementioned Amevive and another pipeline drug called Antegren for Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis. The news is reported on BiotechDenmark.dk.

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