Product news from the 05/23/06 News Brief

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The FDA approved the first generic version Forest Laboratories’ Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) to treat major depression, according to a posting on the agency’s Web site. The decision means that Ivax Corporation of Miami, a division of Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals, is the first company cleared to market a generic Lexapro version in 5, 10 and 20 milligram doses.Behind Pfizer’s Zoloft, Lexapro was the number No. 2 selling antidepressant in US in 2005, according to IMS Health figures, with US sales reaching approximately $2.1 billion last year. The FDA has approved Centocor’s Remicade (infliximab) for reducing signs and symptoms and inducing and maintaining clinical remission in pediatric patients with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease (CD) who have had an inadequate response to conventional therapy. This approval establishes Remicade as the first and only biologic therapy approved for the treatment of pediatric Crohn's disease. Remicade was first approved in the US as a treatment for adult CD in 1998.

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