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CALIFORNIA | HEALTH | THE STATE

Firms Seek to Market Cancer Treatment

March 04, 1997|Times Staff and Wire Reports

IDEC Pharmaceuticals Corp. and Genentech Inc. filed for Food and Drug Administration approval to market a new lymphoma treatment that would be the first monoclonal-antibody product in the U.S. to fight cancer. The treatment, rituximab, is for patients who have relapses of slow-growing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a fatal cancer of certain kinds of cells in the body's immune system. About 240,000 Americans have the disease, with more than 60% suffering the relapses that make them candidates for the treatment. Analysts estimate that the companies' rituximab, IDEC-C2B8, could generate more than $100 million annually in the U.S. San Diego-based IDEC's shares fell 56 cents to close at $24.31 in Nasdaq trading, while South San Francisco-based Genentech was unchanged at $55.125 on the NYSE.

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