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June 16, 2004, 5:52 p.m. EDT

Biogen, Genentech release drug data

By Val Brickates Kennedy, CBS.MarketWatch.com

BOSTON (CBS.MW) -- Genentech, Biogen Idec and Swiss drug giant Roche jointly published positive Phase II clinical trial results Wednesday that showed Genentech's Rituxan was effective in treating moderate-to-severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis.

The three companies are testing Rituxan for rheumatoid arthritis in combination with the drug methotrextate. The results appear in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Phase III clinical trials for the therapy have already begun.

Rituxan is approved in the U.S. to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The drug is marketed by Genentech (NYS:DNA) and Biogen Idec (NAS:BIIB) in the U.S., and by Roche (OTC:RHHVF) in all other nations except Japan.

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