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FDA panel backs septic shock treatment.

A committee of outside experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration has endorsed a human antibody, HA-1A, for the treatment of life-threatening bacterial infections.

The panel decided this month that the drug is safe and effective in quenching the microbial poisons that can kill people infected with gram-negative bacteria. Such bacteria thrive in patients with suppressed immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy. The microbes make endotoxins that can cause the organ failure of septic shock.

HA-1A binds to endotoxins, blocking their effects. Earlier this year, researchers reported that the antibody reduced deaths by 39 percent among a group of 200 patients with serious gram-negative infections (SN: 2/16/91, p.100).

Centocor, Inc., of Malvern, Pa., makes HA-1A by culturing genetically engineered human cells in the laboratory. Xoma Corp. of Berkeley, Calif., is using mouse cells to develop a similar drug.
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Title Annotation:Food and Drug Administration committee endorses HA-1A antibodies as treatment
Publication:Science News
Date:Sep 21, 1991
Words:143
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