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FDA Approves an Expanded Indication for Peginterferon-Based Combination Therapy for Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C
Date:3/11/2009

New use for PEGINTRON(TM) and REBETOL(R) offers certain patients a second chance to achieve treatment success

KENILWORTH, N.J., March 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved new labeling for PEGINTRON(TM) (peginterferon alfa-2b) and REBETOL(R) (ribavirin, USP) combination therapy for treating chronic hepatitis C in patients 3 years of age and older with compensated liver disease. With approval of this expanded indication, PEGINTRON and REBETOL is the first and only pegylated interferon combination therapy approved in the United States that is not restricted to treatment-naive patients. Patients less likely to benefit from retreatment after failing a course of therapy include those with previous nonresponse, previous pegylated interferon treatment, significant bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis, or HCV genotype 1 infection. It is estimated that more than 100,000 patients in the United States failed prior treatment of their hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, representing a large and growing patient population.

"With the FDA approval of PEGINTRON and REBETOL combination therapy for this new indication, U.S. physicians now have a treatment option that offers a second chance for success to certain patients who failed prior therapy," said Robert J. Spiegel, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president, Schering-Plough Research Institute. "This approval further underscores Schering-Plough's leadership and long-term commitment to developing new treatment options and innovative therapies to meet the needs of patients with hepatitis C."

Data from the clinical study supporting the approval helped to define those patient groups most likely to respond to retreatment as well as those unlikely to respond. Overall, p
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SOURCE Schering-Plough Corporation
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