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Business

Altana Suffers Setback in Launch of Asthma Drugs

German drug maker Altana said Thursday that it had postponed its application for approval of its new asthma treatment Roflumilast in the United States in order to undertake additional clinical trials on the drug. Roflumilast, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor being studied for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, had already been tested on more than 4,400 patients in 16 clinical trials. But additional trials on 4,100 more patients were being carried out, meaning the application of US approval of the drug would have to be set back, Altana said in a statement. "It is now expected that the application for approval, originally planned for the first half of 2005, will take place later," the statement said. The announcement marked the second apparent setback in a week for Altana's new potential blockbuster asthma drugs. (AFP)