FDA approves biotech drug for reducing symptoms of severe chickenpox infection

Varizig designed to prevent severe infections in vulnerable patients

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for reducing the severity of chickenpox symptoms, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Cangene Corp.'s Varizig (varicella zoster immune globulin [human]) for varicella zoster, the virus that causes chickenpox. The FDA said Varizig was the only FDA-approved immune globulin for the virus after exposure.

The drug is designed for people who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, including adults with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and infants exposed during pregnancy or after birth.

"This approval fills an unmet need by providing a treatment to lower the risk of severe, potentially fatal varicella infections in vulnerable patients," FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research director Karen Midthun said.

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