Pharmacia Corporation Confirms the Role of ZYVOX(TM) In Treating Hospital Infections

Apr 13, 2001, 01:00 ET from Pharmacia Corporation

    PEAPACK, N.J., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharmacia Corporation (NYSE:   PHA)
 commented today on a letter being published in the April 14 issue of The
 Lancet.  The letter reports on suspected vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus
 faecium resistant to linezolid, marketed by Pharmacia as ZYVOX(TM) (linezolid
 injection and tablets).
     The letter written by Ronald D. Gonzales and colleagues* reports on five
 patient cases.  The cases are consistent with conditions that Pharmacia
 researchers have already reported to regulatory authorities and physicians
 around the globe based on laboratory and clinical studies.  The resistance
 described is limited to a small group of very seriously ill patients: those
 with complicated enterococcus infections, prosthetic devices and sites of
 infection that could not be treated surgically due to the patients' serious
 underlying condition.  It is important to note that two of the patients
 described in the letter improved clinically while on linezolid.  Because the
 cases are very rare and specific to VRE only, Pharmacia is confident that
 following appropriate use practices will support the continued benefit that
 linezolid is bringing to patients around the globe.
     It is important to recognize that the letter to The Lancet specifically
 addresses comments on vancomycin-resistant enterococcus.  There are no
 confirmed cases of linezolid-resistance to any other bacteria, including MRSA.
     "These cases are not unexpected.  The report of resistance reflects the
 special condition of these very few patients," says Gary Noskin, MD, Associate
 Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago,
 Illinois.  "It is important to note, however, that linezolid is an important
 treatment option for patients with serious Gram-positive infections."
     Linezolid is approved for the treatment of adults with infections caused
 by vancomycin resistant E. faecium (including cases with concurrent
 bacteremia), nosocomial (i.e. hospital-acquired) pneumonia, community-acquired
 pneumonia, complicated and uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections.
     Since the launch of linezolid in the US, Pharmacia has continued a global
 surveillance program to proactively monitor for potential emerging resistance.
 To date, more than 60,000 patients globally have been treated with linezolid.
 Very few reports of linezolid-resistance have been confirmed.
     Linezolid is generally well tolerated.  The adverse events reported for
 patients receiving linezolid and comparators in clinical trials were similar.
 The most common adverse events for patients treated with linezolid were
 diarrhea, nausea, headache and vomiting.  Myelosuppression has been reported
 in patients receiving linezolid.  Therefore, complete blood counts should be
 monitored weekly.  Discontinuation of linezold should be considered in
 patients who develop or have worsening myelosuppression.
     Pharmacia Corporation is a leading global pharmaceutical company created
 through the merger of Pharmacia & Upjohn and Monsanto Company with its G.D.
 Searle & Co. unit.  Pharmacia (NYSE:   PHA) has a broad product portfolio, a
 robust pipeline of new drugs, and an annual investment of more than $2 billion
 in pharmaceutical research and development.
 
     Certain statements contained in this release, such as statements
 concerning the Company's anticipated financial results, current and new
 product performance, currency impact and other non-historical facts are
 "forward-looking statements" (as such term is defined in the Private
 Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995).  Since these statements are based
 on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ
 materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
 Such factors include, among others: management's ability to implement the
 strategic initiatives; the Company's ability to successfully market new and
 existing products in new and existing domestic and international markets; the
 success of the Company's research and development activities and the speed
 with which regulatory authorizations and product roll-outs may be achieved;
 fluctuations in exchange rates; the effects of the Company's accounting
 policies and general changes in generally accepted accounting principles; the
 Company's exposure to product liability and other lawsuits and contingencies
 related to actual or alleged environmental contamination; domestic and foreign
 social, legal and political developments, especially those relating to health
 care reform and product liabilities; general economic and business conditions;
 the Company's ability to attract and retain current management and other
 employees of the Company; and other risks and factors detailed in the
 Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including its Proxy
 Statement and Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000.
 
     *"Infections due to vancomycin-resistance Enterococcus faecium resistant
       linezolid," R.D. Gonzales et. al, The Lancet, vol. 357, April 14, 2001
 
 

SOURCE Pharmacia Corporation
    PEAPACK, N.J., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharmacia Corporation (NYSE:   PHA)
 commented today on a letter being published in the April 14 issue of The
 Lancet.  The letter reports on suspected vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus
 faecium resistant to linezolid, marketed by Pharmacia as ZYVOX(TM) (linezolid
 injection and tablets).
     The letter written by Ronald D. Gonzales and colleagues* reports on five
 patient cases.  The cases are consistent with conditions that Pharmacia
 researchers have already reported to regulatory authorities and physicians
 around the globe based on laboratory and clinical studies.  The resistance
 described is limited to a small group of very seriously ill patients: those
 with complicated enterococcus infections, prosthetic devices and sites of
 infection that could not be treated surgically due to the patients' serious
 underlying condition.  It is important to note that two of the patients
 described in the letter improved clinically while on linezolid.  Because the
 cases are very rare and specific to VRE only, Pharmacia is confident that
 following appropriate use practices will support the continued benefit that
 linezolid is bringing to patients around the globe.
     It is important to recognize that the letter to The Lancet specifically
 addresses comments on vancomycin-resistant enterococcus.  There are no
 confirmed cases of linezolid-resistance to any other bacteria, including MRSA.
     "These cases are not unexpected.  The report of resistance reflects the
 special condition of these very few patients," says Gary Noskin, MD, Associate
 Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago,
 Illinois.  "It is important to note, however, that linezolid is an important
 treatment option for patients with serious Gram-positive infections."
     Linezolid is approved for the treatment of adults with infections caused
 by vancomycin resistant E. faecium (including cases with concurrent
 bacteremia), nosocomial (i.e. hospital-acquired) pneumonia, community-acquired
 pneumonia, complicated and uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections.
     Since the launch of linezolid in the US, Pharmacia has continued a global
 surveillance program to proactively monitor for potential emerging resistance.
 To date, more than 60,000 patients globally have been treated with linezolid.
 Very few reports of linezolid-resistance have been confirmed.
     Linezolid is generally well tolerated.  The adverse events reported for
 patients receiving linezolid and comparators in clinical trials were similar.
 The most common adverse events for patients treated with linezolid were
 diarrhea, nausea, headache and vomiting.  Myelosuppression has been reported
 in patients receiving linezolid.  Therefore, complete blood counts should be
 monitored weekly.  Discontinuation of linezold should be considered in
 patients who develop or have worsening myelosuppression.
     Pharmacia Corporation is a leading global pharmaceutical company created
 through the merger of Pharmacia & Upjohn and Monsanto Company with its G.D.
 Searle & Co. unit.  Pharmacia (NYSE:   PHA) has a broad product portfolio, a
 robust pipeline of new drugs, and an annual investment of more than $2 billion
 in pharmaceutical research and development.
 
     Certain statements contained in this release, such as statements
 concerning the Company's anticipated financial results, current and new
 product performance, currency impact and other non-historical facts are
 "forward-looking statements" (as such term is defined in the Private
 Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995).  Since these statements are based
 on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ
 materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
 Such factors include, among others: management's ability to implement the
 strategic initiatives; the Company's ability to successfully market new and
 existing products in new and existing domestic and international markets; the
 success of the Company's research and development activities and the speed
 with which regulatory authorizations and product roll-outs may be achieved;
 fluctuations in exchange rates; the effects of the Company's accounting
 policies and general changes in generally accepted accounting principles; the
 Company's exposure to product liability and other lawsuits and contingencies
 related to actual or alleged environmental contamination; domestic and foreign
 social, legal and political developments, especially those relating to health
 care reform and product liabilities; general economic and business conditions;
 the Company's ability to attract and retain current management and other
 employees of the Company; and other risks and factors detailed in the
 Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including its Proxy
 Statement and Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000.
 
     *"Infections due to vancomycin-resistance Enterococcus faecium resistant
       linezolid," R.D. Gonzales et. al, The Lancet, vol. 357, April 14, 2001
 
 SOURCE  Pharmacia Corporation