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Science File | IN BRIEF

FDA Approves Drug for Hunter Syndrome

July 29, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The first drug treatment for the rare but potentially deadly inherited disease Hunter syndrome has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Shire Human Genetic Therapies of Cambridge, Mass., manufacturer of Elaprase, said it planned to have the drug available within 30 days. Hunter syndrome impedes the body's ability to break down complex sugars; treatment is estimated to cost $300,000 a patient annually. The syndrome is generally diagnosed around ages 1 to 3, and it affects mainly males. It occurs in one or two of about 132,000 births.

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