Biotechs scrambling to seize thrombin market

Two new thrombin products are waiting for FDA action, and the agency's decisions could end King Pharmaceuticals' control of the $250 million market for the coagulant, which is used in surgery to slow bleeding. Omrix BioPharmaceuticals and ZymoGenetics have both applied for marketing approval for new thrombin therapies. Some of the analysts believe that physicians are likely to steer clear of King's therapy once an alternative is available, as King's drug is derived from cows, which raises the risk of rejection. Omrix has applied for FDA approval of a product based on human plasma and ZymoGenetics is relying on a synthetic approach. One of the big questions for analysts is whether new approvals will expand the market for thrombin or leave several companies divvying up the same pie.

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