DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Baxter International Inc. said Friday
that a European committee endorsed a new use for the drug Kiovig as a treatment
for a rare autoimmune disorder marked by progressive weakness in the limbs.
The Deerfield, Ill., company said the European Medicines
Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recommended approval
for Kiovig to treat multifocal motor neuropathy. The European Commission, which
approves medicines for the European Union, usually makes a decision on these recommendations
in two or three months.
Kiovig is already approved in Europe and the United States,
where it is labeled Gammagard, as an injectable treatment for patients with
weakened immune systems.
Multifocal motor neuropathy requires lifelong treatment. The
limb weakness that marks the condition commonly starts with the arms and can
result in significant difficulty with simple tasks, Baxter said. If left
untreated, the condition can lead to muscle atrophy, involuntary twitching and
Baxter shares fell 49 cents to $58.50 in trading Friday,
while broader trading indexes dropped about 1 percent.