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Ustekinumab Biologic License Application Extended an Additional Three Months

HORSHAM, Pa., Aug. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Centocor, Inc., today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the review timeline for the Biologic License Application for ustekinumab, a subcutaneous biologic therapy, by three months to December 2008. The application, filed by Centocor late in 2007, seeks approval to market ustekinumab for the treatment of adult patients with chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

The FDA extended the review period to provide additional time for review of amendments to the application provided by Centocor within the last three months. The FDA has requested no additional clinical trials.

On June 17, 2008, the FDA's Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee (DODAC) unanimously recommended ustekinumab for approval. DODAC is convened on request of the FDA to review and evaluate safety and efficacy data of human drug products for use in the treatment of dermatologic and ophthalmologic conditions. The committee provides non-binding recommendations based on its evaluation; however, the FDA makes the final decision on approval of the drug. Ustekinumab is also under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA).

About Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic, immune-mediated disease, which results from the overproduction of skin cells, resulting in their accumulation on the surface of the skin, which causes red, scaly plaques that may itch and bleed. It is estimated that approximately 7.5 million people in the United States and 10 million Europeans are living with psoriasis and nearly one-quarter of those people have cases that are considered moderate to severe.

About Ustekinumab
Ustekinumab is a new, human monoclonal antibody in Phase 3 development by Centocor, Inc. for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, and is being investigated as an infrequently administered subcutaneous injection. Ustekinumab is a novel biologic therapy that targets interleukin 12 (IL-12) and interleukin 23 (IL-23), naturally occurring proteins that are important in regulating the immune system and that are also believed to play a role in inflammatory disorders.

Centocor discovered ustekinumab and has exclusive marketing rights to the product in the United States. Janssen-Cilag companies have exclusive marketing rights in all countries outside of the United States.

Source: Centocor

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