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THE FIRST monoclonal antibody for the treatment of a malignant disease is likely to be available to physicians within the next few months. An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has unanimously recommended that the commissioner license the agent—known as Rituximab—for the treatment of low-grade, non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The drug was developed by IDEC Pharmaceuticals, San Diego, Calif, and will be copromoted with Genentech Inc of South San Francisco, Calif, under the name Rituxan. There are about 240 000 patients in the United States with non-Hodgkins lymphomas; about half of these are patients with low-grade or follicular B-cell lymphoma.
Monoclonals vs Malignancy
Georges Kohler and Cesar Milstein of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England, won the 1975 Nobel Prize for creating cloned cellular factories capable of producing virtually unlimited quantities of identical antibodies. They developed a technique of fusing antibody-producing B cells from a mouse to immortalized
Marwick C. Monoclonal Antibody to Treat Lymphoma. JAMA. 1997;278(8):616–618. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550080022011
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