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NEW TOPICAL SKIN ANALGESIC RECEIVES U.S. MARKETING AUTHORIZATION

 WESTBOROUGH, Mass., Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Astra Pharmaceutical Products, Inc. announced that EMLA Cream (lidocaine 2.5 percent and prilocaine 2.5 percent), a unique local skin anesthetic that can eliminate the need for needle injection during many dermal procedures in patients from 1-month-old infants to adults, received U.S. government approval today.
 "EMLA will usher in a new era of painless transdermal analgesia in American medicine," said Nigel Rulewski, M.D., vice president for medical affairs at Astra. "It has the potential to reduce significantly the fear of needles that is a psychological barrier to so many patients of all ages."
 EMLA combines the Astra-developed anesthetics lidocaine and prilocaine in an oil and water emulsion that allows high concentrations of the pain killers to reach nerve endings in the dermis directly through the intact epidermal layers of skin. Instead of a needle, EMLA Cream is applied under an occlusive dressing for 60 minutes to anesthetize the skin for a minimum of 60-120 minutes after the dressing is removed. In some patients, temporary blanching or redness of the skin appears, however, this normally resolves itself after a few hours.
 Astra will launch EMLA to physicians nationwide in the first quarter of 1993, following the completion of the Children's Hospital EMLA Efficacy Research (CHEER) Trial. This open-label multi-center trial will provide extensive data on EMLA's use in a large number of children's hospitals where invasive dermal procedures are performed, such as venipuncture, central venous port injection, as well as for lumbar puncture and bone marrow aspiration (skin anesthesia only).
 Astra Pharmaceutical Products, Inc., is the U.S. subsidiary of Swedish-based AB Astra, one of the world's fastest growing pharmaceutical companies. Astra has more than 900 employees in the United States, where 1991 sales were $165 million. In addition to local anesthetics such as Xylocaine (lidocaine HCl) and Sensorcaine (bupivacaine HCl), Astra's key products in the United States include Streptase (streptokinase) and two products introduced within the last year, Foscavir (foscarnet sodium) Injection and Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate).
 AB Astra has 10,000 employees worldwide and recorded 1991 sales of $2.2 billion.
 -0- 12/30/92
 /NOTE: EMLA, Xylocaine, Sensorcaine, Streptase and Foscavir are registered trademarks; Toprol XL is a trademark./
 /CONTACT: Ken Rabin, Ph.D., 202-467-3903, for Astra Pharmaceutical Products, Inc./


CO: Astra Pharmaceutical Products, Inc. ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU:

DC -- DC005 -- 0618 12/30/92 12:34 EST
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Date:Dec 30, 1992
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