Abbott Labs wins FDA approval for AIDS drug

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Abbott Laboratories received Food & Drug Administration approval for retonivir--a promising new class of AIDS drug that is a protease inhibitor--branded as Norvir. Hoffmann-La Roche's protease inhibitor, Invirase, was the first, approved in December and FDA's acceptance of Merck & Co.'s Crixivan is imminent. The Abbott and Merck brands are likely to get direct-to-consumer ads.

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