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IN BRIEF/ PHARMACEUTICALS

Higher Cancer Risk Found in Asthma Drug

May 15, 2003|From Reuters

The experimental drug Xolair can prevent worsening of severe asthma but may carry an increased risk of cancer, reviewers at the Food and Drug Administration said.

The report was posted on the FDA's Web site in advance of today's meeting of an FDA advisory panel that will recommend whether the drug should be approved.

Xolair is being developed by Genentech Inc., Novartis and Tanox Inc.

Genentech, based in South San Francisco, saw its shares go up 48 cents to $38.48, while shares of Switzerland's Novartis fell 10 cents, to $40.15, both on the New York Stock Exchange. Houston-based Tanox shares fell 92 cents, to $13.94 on Nasdaq.

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