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HIV-therapy side effect drug OK’d

By Associated Press
November 12, 2010

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WASHINGTON — Federal regulators have approved the first drug to eliminate excess fat that develops as a side effect of HIV treatments. The Food and Drug Administration said it approved Egrifta for lipodystrophy, which causes excess fat in the liver, stomach, and other abdominal organs. The condition is common in patients taking antiviral drugs for HIV.

Theratechnologies Inc. studied its drug in more than 800 HIV patients with abdominal fat. After six months of treatment, patients taking Egrifta had significantly less fat than patients who received a placebo injection.

The FDA said the drug has not been proven to decrease the risk of other complications.

Egrifta was developed by Montreal-based Theratechnologies and marketed in the United States by Rockland, Mass.-based EMD Serono.