PHARMACEUTICALS: The Miracle Is Missing

The Miracle Is Missing

Just three years ago, Interleukin-2 was hailed as a breakthrough treatment for kidney cancer. Cetus, the California biotechnology company that developed the drug, hoped it would become the firm's first real moneymaker. That hope was dashed last week when the Food and Drug Administration declined to give the drug approval for widespread use until more thorough research is conducted. While IL-2 shrinks tumors in some patients, researchers contend that the drug can also trigger cardiac arrest and other serious complications. Cetus last month suspended clinical trials of IL-2 as a treatment for high blood pressure when findings proved inconclusive. After investing...

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