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CHIRON AWAITING IND APPROVAL FOR TEST OF EGF FOR OPHTHALMIC BURNS

Executive Summary

CHIRON AWAITING IND APPROVAL FOR TEST OF EGF FOR OPHTHALMIC BURNS, company President and CEO Edward Penhoet, PhD, said at an Alex Brown & Son Health Care Seminar in Baltimore on April 16. He also noted that epidermal growth factor (EGF) had already received IND approval for corneal transplants and that clinicals would begin by the end of May. Both indications have received orphan drug status from FDA. "The preliminary trials from the studies of primates done before this," Penhoet stated, "were very encouraging for a whole variety of surgical procedures in the eye, but particularly encouraging for corneal transplants and for alkaline eye, which is a variety of different burns in the eye . . ." Penhoet noted that the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine that Chiron is developing for Merck is currently in the advanced stages of clinical testing and is expected to reach the market by the end of this year or early 1986. Referring to scientific data which links hepatitis B to liver cancer, he emphasized, "This will not only be the first recombinant vaccine against infectious disease for human use, it will be the first vaccine to protect against any form of cancer." In another joint venture, with Ciba-Geigy, Chiron is using its yeast secretion technology to produce insulin growth factors. According to Penhoet, the arrangement calls for Chiron to be the producer for North America and for Ciba-Geigy to be the producer for the rest of the world. Scheduled to begin clinicals this year, insulin growth factors are most likely to be used for diseases relating to aging, particularly osteoporosis and muscle degeneration, and for various types of fractures.
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