Oct 24 An advisory committee of the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration voted unanimously to approve Johnson &
Johnson's hepatitis C drug, J&J said on Thursday.
The panel voted 19-0 in favor of the drug, simeprevir, which
was tested in combination with standard hepatitis C drugs,
peginterferon-alpha and ribavirin.
The drug is being developed by J&J unit Janssen Research &
Development LLC. It is being tested in adults who failed
previous interferon-based therapy or had not received medication
The FDA usually follows the recommendation of the advisory
panel, although it is not obligated to do so.
Hepatitis C, an infection of the liver transmitted through
the blood, kills more than 15,000 Americans each year, mostly
from hepatitis C-related illnesses such as cirrhosis and liver
J&J shares closed at $92.35 on the New York Stock Exchange
(Reporting By Adithya Venkatesan in Bangalore; Editing by Maju