The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday it had approved Teva Pharmaceuticals’ drug to treat asthma in adults who have a history of severe attacks despite taking medication.
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Cinqair, part of a new wave of biotech drugs for severe asthma, is administered intravenously every four weeks in combination with other drugs.
Teva’s treatment will compete with GlaxoSmithKline’s recently approved Nucala, as well as Xolair, an established drug jointly developed by Novartis and Roche Holding. Nucala was approved by the FDA in November and, like Cinqair, is an antibody that reduces levels of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell that contributes to the development of asthma.
More than 22 million Americans suffered from asthma in 2013, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates there are more than 400,000 asthma-related hospitalizations each year.