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VESTAR'S AMBISOME(R) GAINS MARKETING APPROVAL IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

VESTAR'S AMBISOME(R) GAINS MARKETING APPROVAL IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
 SAN DIMAS, Calif., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Vestar Inc. (NASDAQ: VSTR) today announced that AmBisome(R), the company's liposomal formulation of amphotericin B, has received full marketing approval by the Medicines Control Agency in the United Kingdom, as a treatment for systemic fungal infections. Vestar Ltd., the company's subsidiary in Cambridge, England, will begin the commercial launch of the product immediately.
 "Approval in this major European market is a significant milestone in our strategic plan for full marketing of AmBisome throughout Europe," said Roger J. Crossley, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Vestar. AmBisome has already been approved for marketing in Ireland and Mexico.
 Ambisome is now being sold in a total of 13 European countries, on a named-patient (compassionate) basis. Vestar revenues from AmBisome for the first nine months of fiscal 1991 were $9.3 million.
 "Severe fungal infections are a serious and growing medical problem, characterized by an extremely high mortality rate, even with the use of conventional amphotericin B. We therefore expect AmBisome to make a significant clinical impact," added Crossley.
 AmBisome is the company's trade name for its proprietary intravenous liposomal formulation of amphotericin B, the most commonly used drug for severe systemic fungal infections. The use of amphotericin B has been severely limited by its serious toxicity at doses that are marginally effective. In contrast, AmBisome is well tolerated, permitting higher daily and cumulative doses than are considered safe for the conventional drug. Vestar believes that AmBisome is the only injectable liposomal pharmaceutical product to be approved in the Western Hemisphere.
 Systemic fungal infections are serious infections with a mortality rate of up to 70 percent, that often occur in cancer patients treated with chemotherapy, particularly those with leukemia, as well as organs and bone marrow transplant recipients, and AIDS patients.
 Vestar, headquartered in San Dimas, develops, tests, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals to treat patients with cancer and serious infections, including AIDS. The company's initial products use liposomes -- microscopic spheres with walls similar to those of cell membranes -- to encapsulate pharmaceuticals. Since 1989, Vestar has been marketing in Europe its first product, AmBisome, to treat systemic fungal infections. DaunoXome, a liposomal formulation of the chemotherapeutic agent daunorubicin, is in development as Vestar's second major product.
 -0- 12/4/91
 /CONTACT: Michael E. Hart, CFO of Vestar Inc., 714-394-4119; or Marcia A. Kean, executive VP of Feinstein Partners Inc., 617-577-8110/
 (VSTR) CO: Vestar ST: California IN: MTC SU: PDT


EH-SE -- LA004 -- 8995 12/04/91 07:15 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 4, 1991
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