Painkiller Developers Such as Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Pfizer Inc. (PFE), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN) Win FDA Advisory Panel's Backing to Continue Studies  
3/13/2012 8:08:47 AM

Pfizer Inc. (PFE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. won the backing of a U.S. advisory panel to continue development of a class of experimental painkillers that have been linked to joint failure. The Food and Drug Administration advisers voted 21-0 today in Silver Spring, Maryland, that the benefits of enhanced pain relief outweigh the risks of the so-called anti-nerve growth factor drugs. The FDA isn’t required to follow the panel’s advice. Studies on the class of drugs, once expected by analysts to generate as much as $11 billion a year, were halted in 2010 after the joint issues were reported. Trials for osteoarthritis and back pain, among other chronic conditions, are on hold while a study in cancer pain is ongoing.