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ABBOTT INTRODUCES NEW MACROLIDE ANTIBIOTIC IN U.S.

 ABBOTT INTRODUCES NEW MACROLIDE ANTIBIOTIC IN U.S.
 ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Abbott Laboratories


(NYSE: ABT) announced today that Biaxin (clarithromycin), a new antibiotic to treat respiratory tract and skin infections, has cleared U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review.
 The product is indicated for the treatment of upper (sinusitis, pharyngitis/tonsillitis) and lower (pneumonia, bronchitis) respiratory infections and skin and skin structure infections. The drug was licensed from Taisho Pharmaceuticals Company of Japan and developed by Abbott.
 "Oral antibiotics have been a major component of our pharmaceutical business since the introduction of erythromycin in 1952," said Duane Burnham, chairman and chief executive officer. "Biaxin will significantly strengthen Abbott's antibiotic portfolio for the 1990s."
 Biaxin represents a major advance in the macrolide class of antibiotics. In clinical trials, Biaxin was better tolerated and reduced by two-thirds the gastrointestinal side effects that have been reported with erythromycin, the current reference drug for macrolides. Its twice daily dosing regimen is a significant improvement over most erythromycins, which generally require dosing four times a day.
 Because of the rising incidence of organisms that are resistant to treatment with penicillins and oral cephalosporins, there has been renewed interest in the macrolides. Biaxin's key advantage is its excellent coverage of lower respiratory tract pathogens most often treated by penicillins, as well as coverage of mycoplasma pneumoniae which is most often treated by erythromycin. Biaxin also has the benefit of an active metabolite (14-OH) that increases its potency against Haemophilus influenzae, a common cause of bacterial bronchitis.
 "Because of Biaxin's excellent GI tolerance, advantage of twice-a- day dosing and excellent profile against respiratory tract infections, it is in a position to compete as a first-line antibiotic therapy," said Paul Clark, senior vice president, pharmaceutical operations.
 Adult oral antibiotics represent the largest and fastest-growing portion of the U.S. antibiotic market. This segment achieved sales of $2.2 billion in 1990, a 15 percent increase over 1989. In 1989, the macrolide class of antibiotics secured 16.1 percent of new prescriptions in the oral antibiotic
market. Just over 50 percent of all prescriptions in the adult oral antibiotic market were written for respiratory infections.
 Clarithromycin is currently marketed by Abbott in more than 20 countries, including Japan, Italy, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.
 Abbott Laboratories is a worldwide manufacturer of health care products employing 45,000 people. In 1990, the company's sales and net earnings were $6.2 billion and $966 million respectively, with earnings per share of $2.22.
 -0- 11/1/91
 /CONTACT: Jeff Newton, 708-937-5968, or Matt Kuhn, 708-937-2993, both of Abbott Laboratories/
 (ABT) CO: Abbott Laboratories ST: Illinois IN: MTC SU: PDT SH -- NY020 -- 0113 11/01/91 10:04 EST
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 1, 1991
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