Some of the views expressed in the following notes on newly approved products should be regarded as preliminary, as there may have been limited published data at the time of publication, and little experience in Australia of their safety or efficacy. However, the Editorial Executive Committee believes that comments made in good faith at an early stage may still be of value. Before new drugs are prescribed, the Committee believes it is important that more detailed information is obtained from the manufacturer's approved product information, a drug information centre or some other appropriate source.

Granocyte (AMRAD Pharmaceuticals)
vials containing 263 micrograms lyophilised powder for injection
Indication: neutropenia

This product is a competitor for filgrastim, a granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) which was marketed in 1992 (see `New drugs' Aust Prescr 1992;15:86.) The main difference between the two products is the method of production. Lenograstim is produced in Chinese hamster ovary cells using recombinant technology.

Lenograstim is approved to reduce the duration of neutropenia and the incidence or severity of infections in patients who have had a bone marrow transplant or chemotherapy.

Although there is now competition in the market for G-CSF, lenograstim will probably be an expensive drug. The cost of therapy may be offset by a reduction in the costs of treating febrile neutropenia. However, it is currently unknown if the use of lenograstim improves the patient's chance of survival.