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First-line use of voriconazole yields better outcomes for life-threatening fungal infection

San Antonio (Sept. 16, 2003) Data presented at the 43rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) showed that the antifungal treatment voriconazole, a second-generation triazole, is more effective and less costly than the standard of care for invasive aspergillosis when used as first-line therapy (Posters M-964 and A-1359). Results from global studies were presented by The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) researchers, Thomas F. Patterson, M.D., professor of medicine, and James Lewis, Pharm.D., infectious diseases pharmacy specialist.

"For patients whose immune systems are compromised by cancer chemotherapy or organ and bone marrow transplants, invasive aspergillosis can be fatal," said Dr. Patterson. "Physicians need to understand that the type of therapy selected for first line impacts the patient's chance of survival. These studies showed that patients initially treated with voriconazole had better outcomes and incurred fewer antifungal drug costs than patients treated initially with the prior 'gold standard therapy' amphotericin B."

Enhancing Patient Outcome

Dr. Patterson and other investigators assessed how initial therapy with voriconazole impacts ultimate outcomes compared to amphotericin B. This analysis was done with data from a previously published clinical trial (Herbrecht, NEJM, 2002) that compared voriconazole to standard therapy with amphotericin B. The study (Poster M-964) assessed 277 patients who were randomized to either voriconazole or amphotericin B and treated for up to 12 weeks.

The results showed that initial treatment with voriconazole led to significantly better outcomes for patients compared to those treated initially with amphotericin B. Overall, voriconazole patients had a 53 percent success rate as compared to success in 32 percent of patients on amphotericin B. Notably success occurred in only 23 percent who were switched from
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Contact: Will Sansom
210-567-2579
Edelman Public Relations
16-Sep-2003


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