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NEW CANCER PAIN MEDICATION CLEARED FOR MARKETING BY FDA; SINGLE INJECTION PROVIDES LONG-TERM PAIN RELIEF

 ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared for marketing a new non-narcotic medication designed to help control the pain of cancer that has spread or metastasized to bone. Metastron(R) (strontium-89 chloride injection), developed by Medi-Physics, Inc., Amersham Healthcare and co-promoted with Zeneca Pharmaceuticals Group, is a radiopharmaceutical that provides pain relief for an average of six months(A)(B) and is administered in a single out-patient injection.
 Nearly 50 percent of the individuals with prostate or breast cancer will eventually develop bony metastases(C), a condition sometimes resulting in unremitting pain. The American Cancer Society estimates that one in ten men will be diagnosed during their lifetime with pro state cancer, the second most common cancer afflicting men(D). One in nine women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives(E). Metastron offers these individuals a new approach to pain management.
 Systemic Radiation Reduces Reliance Upon Narcotics
 "Metastron is a breakthrough therapy for the patient whose primary cancer has metastasized to the bone," said Ralph G. Robinson, M.D., professor and interim chairman, department of diagnostic radiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, who has studied Metastron for over 15 years in more than 580 patients.
 "Some patients with advanced metastatic lesions experience continuous, toothache-like pain so severe that they usually require high doses of morphine or other narcotics, leaving them somewhat sedated or immobile," Dr. Robinson explained.
 "The response to Metastron has enabled many patients to reduce their reliance upon narcotics, improving the quality of life available to these individuals, while potentially reducing the cost of therapy and their reliance upon family members or other health care providers," he observed. "With Metastron, there is no reason these people should be in pain."
 Long-Term Relief Avoids Hospitalization Metastron is administered as a convenient out-patient injection that usually is effective for an average of six months(A)(B). "We have administered as many as 10 courses of Metastron to patients who were responding to the agent," Dr. Robinson reported. "With appropriate monitoring of blood counts, Metastron has proven to be a well-tolerated therapy, rarely requiring patient hospitalization."
 New Technology Draws Medical Team to Pain Management
 "Metastron offers a new approach to pain relief that epitomizes the team approach commonly employed in the management of cancer patients," said Al Herbert, president of Medi-Physics, Inc., Amersham Healthcare. "Doctors skilled in the surgical or medical control of cancer will team up with nuclear medicine physicians and others who are specialists in the use of radiation to provide pain relief and enhance the quality of life afforded to cancer patients."
 The product has been available in other countries for seven years and more than 6,000 patients have been treated worldwide. "We believe that Metastron offers a socially conscientious approach to care of the cancer patient -- one that preserves personal integrity and dignity while offering advanced technology at a cost that is very competitive with any existing therapy," Herbert observed.
 Metastron is among several recently approved diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals developed by Amersham International plc, the U.K. based health science group and world leader in the supply of advanced products and specialized technologies for use in life sciences research, health care, and industrial quality and safety assurance.
 Medi-Physics, Inc., Amersham Healthcare recently announced that its parent company, Amersham International plc, and Zeneca Limited, had reached an agreement to co-promote Metastron. Zeneca will promote Metastron to urology and medical oncology specialists, and Medi-Physics, Inc., Amersham will promote Metastron to nuclear medicine, radiopharmacy and radiation oncology specialists. This alliance also extends beyond the U.S. to include major markets worldwide.
 REFERENCES
 (A) -- Laing AH, Ackery DM, Bayly J, et al. Strontium-89 chloride for pain palliation in prostatic skeletal malignancy. British Journal of Radiology, 1991;64:816-822.
 (B) -- Porter AT, McEwan AJB, Powe JE, et al. Results of a randomized phase III trial to evaluate the efficacy of strontium-89 adjuvant to local field external beam irradiation in the management of endocrine resistant metastatic prostate cancer. Int J Radiol Oncol Biol Phys, 1993;25:(In press).
 (C) -- Robinson RG, Blake GM et al. Strontium-89: Treatment results and kinetics in patients with painful metastatic prostate and breast cancer in bone. Radiographics, 1989; 9(2):271.
 (D) --The American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures, 1993, Atlanta, GA, pgs. 11-12.
 (E) -- The American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures, 1993, Atlanta, GA, pg. 11.
 Please see enclosed Metastron (strontium-89 chloride injection) prescribing information.
 Metastron is the registered trademark of Amersham International plc.
 -0- 6/21/93
 /CONTACT: William A. Ehmig of Medi-Physics, Inc., Amersham Healthcare, 708-593-6300 ext. 244; or Stacey Harris or John Kouten of Makovsky & Company, 212-532-6300, for Medi-Physics, Inc./


CO: Medi-Physics, Inc., Amersham Healthcare; Zeneca Limited ST: Illinois IN: MTC SU:

TS -- NY034 -- 3979 06/21/93 10:28 EDT
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Date:Jun 21, 1993
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