U.S. OKs Wider Use of Drug for AIDS Pneumonia

Associated Press

Federal officials announced today approval for expanded use of an experimental drug used to treat one of the infections associated with AIDS.

Health and Human Services Secretary Otis R. Bowen said the drug, trimetrexate, has received “treatment investigational new drug” designation for treatment of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia patients who suffer serious adverse reactions to two existing approved medicines.

Under the so-called treatment IND category, drug developers and researchers can make promising experimental drugs available to patients with immediately life-threatening disease before the drug has passed full safety and efficacy review by the Food and Drug Administration.

Elaine Baldwin, a spokeswoman for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said trimetrexate is likely to be available to about 300 patients nationwide under the new designation.