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New analysis supports starting with VFEND for life-threatening fungal infections

NEW YORK, October 25, 2005 A new analysis of treatment procedures for the potentially deadly fungal infection invasive aspergillosis suggests that making the right treatment decision as soon as possible after diagnosis may be crucial to survival.

The retrospective analysis, published in the Nov. 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, showed that patients who initially received Pfizer's antifungal agent VFEND (voriconazole) were more likely to survive than patients who initially received amphotericin B deoxycholate. The analysis also showed that patients who started on VFEND were less likely to need salvage therapy than those on amphotericin B. Salvage therapy is treatment given after the infection has not responded to the initial treatment or if the patient cannot tolerate the initial medicine.

Invasive aspergillosis is a severe pulmonary infection that can occur in patients with weakened immune systems. The fatality rate for invasive aspergillosis is estimated to be 58 percent, but approaches 90 to 100 percent in patients whose infection has spread beyond the primary site.

"These high mortality rates for invasive aspergillosis underscore the importance of initial treatment for this often fatal infection," said Dr. Thomas F. Patterson, lead author of the analysis and professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "Our analysis demonstrates that voriconazole's efficacy and tolerability make it an important choice for first-line therapy."

About The Study

The Global Comparative Aspergillosis Study (GCAS) led to VFEND's 2002 approval for the first-line treatment of invasive aspergillosis and was the basis for this newly published analysis. In that study, 144 patients with confirmed or probable invasive aspergillosis were started on VFEND and 133 were started on amphotericin B. If the disease progressed or the patient was unable to tolerate initial therapy, treatment could be chang
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Contact: Jeanne Traflet
jeanne.traflet@pfizer.com
212-733-0127
Edelman Public Relations
25-Oct-2005


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