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PROCRIT (Epoetin alfa) INDICATED FOR THE TREATMENT OF ANEMIA IN CANCER PATIENTS ON CHEMOTHERAPY

 RARITAN, N.J., April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- PROCRIT (Epoetin alfa), a recombinant human erythropoietin, is now indicated for the treatment of anemia caused by chemotherapy in patients with non-myeloid malignancies. In clinical studies, PROCRIT decreased blood transfusion requirements and their related risks after the first month of therapy, and increased hematocrit levels in anemic cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
 Ortho Biotech Inc., an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson, has distributed PROCRIT since January 1991 for the treatment of anemia in zidovudine-treated, HIV-infected patients and chronic renal failure patients not yet on dialysis. Ortho Biotech markets and distributes Epoetin alfa under the tradename PROCRIT. Amgen Inc., the manufacturer of Epoetin alfa, also markets the product under the registered trademark EPOGEN for chronic renal failure patients on dialysis.
 "PROCRIT (Epoetin alfa) gives us a treatment alternative in patients with non-myeloid malignancies that we did not have before," said David Henry, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, an investigator who conducted clinical trials with this drug. "With PROCRIT therapy available for cancer patients, physicians can treat the anemia and its symptoms associated with chemotherapy while reducing the need for transfusions."
 Cancer chemotherapy can cause anemia by impairing red blood cell production, inducing red cell breakdown, or both. Red blood cell production is particularly vulnerable to chemotherapeutic agents which suppress bone marrow function.
 PROCRIT REDUCES THE NEED FOR TRANSFUSION AND INCREASES HEMATOCRIT
 "In clinical trials, the hematocrit of patients treated with PROCRIT (Epoetin alfa) increased, and blood transfusion requirements decreased after the first month," said Dr. Henry. "Consequently, exposure to transfusion-related risks were lowered."
 PROCRIT has been studied in a series of placebo controlled, double- blind trials involving 131 anemic cancer patients on chemotherapy. PROCRIT therapy was associated with a significantly greater hematocrit response than in the corresponding placebo treated patients. When patients received a PROCRIT dose of 150 Units/kg three times per week subcutaneously, the mean number of units of blood transfused per patient after the first month of therapy was significantly lower, as was the proportion of patients transfused during months two and three in the PROCRIT treated group as compared to the placebo treated patients.
 PROCRIT therapy was associated with limited side effects. The only adverse events which occurred at a statistically significantly higher incidence in the PROCRIT treated group than in the placebo group were edema and diarrhea. Blood pressure in PROCRIT treated patients should be carefully monitored, particularly in patients with an underlying history of hypertension or cardiovascular disease.
 PROCRIT is not indicated for the anemia in cancer patients due to other factors such as iron or folate deficiency, hemolysis or gastrointestinal bleeding which should be managed appropriately.
 A WORLDWIDE LEADER IN BIOLOGIC HUMAN THERAPEUTICS
 Ortho Biotech, a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, is a leader in the worldwide sourcing and marketing of human therapeutics derived from biotechnology. PROCRIT (Epoetin alfa) for the anemia associated with chemotherapy is the company's second entry into the oncology market. Ortho Biotech recently introduced LEUSTATIN (cladribine) Injection. In addition to marketing PROCRIT and LEUSTATIN, Ortho Biotech discovered and markets ORTHOCLONE OKT3 (muromonab-CD3), the first and only therapeutic monoclonal antibody.
 PAYING FOR THERAPY: PROCRIT COMPREHENSIVE REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAMS
 In order to ensure that patients have access to therapy regardless of ability to pay, Ortho Biotech offers comprehensive reimbursement information and support to physicians who prescribe the PROCRIT brand of recombinant human erythropoietin for anemic cancer patients with non- myeloid malignancies on chemotherapy.
 The cost of PROCRIT therapy varies according to the size of the patient and duration of therapy. Recommended dosing is 150 units/kg three times per week, or approximately 10,000 units per dose. The cost for 10,000 units ranges from $64.60 - $95.00, depending upon the purchasing channels.
 Financial support programs are designed to offer PROCRIT therapy free to those in need and to limit the cost of therapy. These programs include the Financial Assistance Program (FAP), which provides therapy free of charge to any qualifying patient who cannot obtain reimbursement through third-party payers, the cost sharing program which limits the cost of therapy, a Reimbursement Assurance Program which provides access for patients without insurance coverage as well as limits the out-of- pocket expenses for physicians who administer PROCRIT in their offices, and a reimbursement information hotline (PROCRITLine).
 "Our company is committed to ensuring that no patient is denied access to PROCRIT on the basis of their ability to pay," says Dennis N. Longstreet, president of Ortho Biotech. "We have further enhanced the programs to make them flexible enough to accommodate the needs of the patient and the medical community. Physicians can prescribe PROCRIT therapy with the confidence that our company will provide reimbursement assistance."
 Healthcare professionals and patients can obtain further information on the PROCRIT reimbursement programs by contacting the PROCRITLine at 1-800-553-3851.
 -0- 4/7/93
 /CONTACT: Sarah Colamarino, 908-704-4088, or investor relations, Clarence Lockett, 908-524-6491, both for Ortho Biotech Inc./
 (JNJ)


CO: Ortho Biotech Inc.; Johnson & Johnson ST: New Jersey IN: MTC SU:

LR -- NY018 -- 3693 04/07/93 09:52 EDT
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Date:Apr 7, 1993
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