FDA experts unanimously favor Ista Pharmaceuticals' Bepreve for seasonal allergies
WASHINGTON — A panel of federal experts said Friday an anti-itching drug from eye care company Ista Pharmaceuticals is safe and effective, according to a government spokeswoman.
The unanimous vote from the seven members of the Food and Drug Administration's opthalmic panel amounts to a recommendation for approval. Although the FDA is not required to follow the group's advice, it usually does.
Shares of Irvine, Calif.-based Ista Pharmaceuticals rose 21 cents, or 4.9 percent, to $4.45 in afternoon trading.
Ista is asking the FDA to approve its formula Bepreve to relieve itchiness caused by seasonal allergies.
A final decision on the drug is expected by September.
Bepreve is one of two developmental products considered critical to Ista's business outlook. The other is an experimental topical steroid for eye infections, called T-Pred, which is also under FDA review.