FDA Approves New Drug

prescription bottle of pillsThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved Tyzeka
(telbivudine) for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis B (HBV), a
serious viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause lifelong infection,
scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), and eventually liver cancer, liver failure,
and death. Tyzeka is a new molecular entity, which is a term used by the FDA to
describe a medication containing an active substance that has never before been
approved for marketing in any form in the United States.

“In a typical year, an estimated 70,000 Americans become infected with
chronic HBV, and some 5,000 of them will die of the complications caused by the
disease,” said Dr. Steven Galson, Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and
Research. “Tyzeka offers prescribers another option for treating these

Tyzeka was studied in a year-long international clinical trial in 1,367
patients with chronic HBV. Three-quarters of the trial participants were male,
and all were 16 years of age or older. The trial produced evidence of antiviral
effectiveness, including the suppression of hepatitis B virus, and improvement
in liver inflammation comparable to Epivir-HBV (lamivudine), one of five other
medications approved to treat patients with chronic HBV.