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VESTAR'S AMBISOME GAINS FULL MARKETING APPROVAL IN PORTUGAL

 SAN DIMAS, Calif., Nov. 24 ~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 Direccao-Geral de Assuntos Farmaceuticos in Portugal, as a treatment for systemic fungal infections. Portugal is the fifth European country to grant full marketing approval for AmBisome. The commercial launch of the product will begin immediately.
 "We have seen tremendous medical acceptance of AmBisome as the treatment of choice for serious infections, as evidenced by the strong sales of the product to date in Portugal, where the drug has been available on a named-patient basis since 1990," said Roger J. Crossley, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Vestar. "This announcement will help strengthen our position in Portugal, and build on the momentum created last month when the product received full approval in Germany, Europe's largest pharmaceutical market.
 Vestar management noted that in addition to Portugal and Germany, AmBisome has full marketing approval in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Mexico and Ireland.
 AmBisome is Vestar'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 conventional amphotericin B has been severely limited by its serious toxicity at doses that are only marginally effective. In contrast, clinical data have demonstrated that AmBisome is well tolerated, permitting higher daily and cumulative doses than are considered safe for the conventional drug.
 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 organ and bone marrow transplant patients, and AIDS patients. In clinical trials of AmBisome to date, 85 percent of patients have shown clinical improvement against a variety of fungal infections, with minimal side effects. With this positive safety and efficacy profile for AmBisome, Phase III and IV trials are underway with a view toward gaining approval for use of the drug earlier in the treatment process.
 Vestar, headquartered in San Dimas, Calif., develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals to treat patients with cancer and serious infections including AIDS. Among the company's proprietary drug delivery technologies are liposomes to encapsulate pharmaceuticals, and lipid prodrug technology for the development of orally active compounds. Since 1989, Vestar has been marketing in Europe AmBisome, a liposomal formulation of amphotericin B, to treat systematic fungal infections. DaunoXome(R), a liposomal formulation of the chemotherapeutic agent daunorubicin, is currently in Phase III trials and being developed as Vestar's second major product.
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 ~CONTACT: Michael E. Hart, chief financial officer of Vestar, 714-394-4119; or Marcia A. Kean, executive vice president of Feinstein Partners, 617-577-8110, for Vestar~
 (VSTR)


CO: Vestar, Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU: PDT

CH -- NE002 -- 0890 11~24~92 08:45 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 24, 1992
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