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FDA clears thalidomide for leprosy use.

The infamous drug thalidomide continued on the long road back to respectability last month as the Food and Drug Administration approved it--under tight restrictions--for use against leprosy. Tests of thalidomide, a sedative that caused thousands of birth defects before its ban more than 35 years ago, have also shown the drug to heal painful mouth ulcers in AIDS patients (SN: 11/11/95, p. 311; SN: 12/24&31/94, p. 424).

Research is under way to assess its potential value against cancer, autoimmune diseases, and macular degeneration--a leading cause of blindness. Celgene Corp. of Warren, N.J., plans to manufacture the drug, and a team from Boston University will monitor its use on leprosy patients.
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Title Annotation:Food and Drug Administration
Author:Seppa, Nathan
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 15, 1998
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