JW Pharmaceuticals said Monday that it has started marketing Infasurf (Ingredient: calfactant), a treatment for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in premature infants.
The drug developed by Ony, a U.S.-based neonatal pharmaceutical development firm, is a natural surfactant obtained by washing calf lung with physiological saline, in contrast to conventional RDS remedy made by grinding the lungs of cattle or pig.
The drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a high concentration of SP-B (surfactant protein-B), which is the main ingredient of RDS treatment. Such high density allows the drug to act quickly after administration and for a longer duration. The drug’s liquid formation also allows instant injection of the drug contrast to conventional power-based RDS treatments.
RDS occurs mainly in infants born prematurely. The disease causes the alveoli, which is responsible for the exchange of gas, to not stretch appropriately due to the lack of pulmonary surfactant. Such effects can cause dyspnea, which is the biggest cause of deaths for premature infants.
“For newborns suffering from RDS, it is important to administer the necessary pulmonary surfactant rapidly,” a company official said. “The company plans to cultivate Infasurf as a representative product in the RDS therapeutic market by taking advantages of the product’s excellent effect and economic efficiency.”
Infasurf currently holds 20 percent of the entire RDS treatment market in the U.S.