Merck's ragweed pollen allergy drug gets U.S. approval

Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:58pm EDT

A view shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) logo at the lobby of its headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland August 14, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

A view shows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) logo at the lobby of its headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland August 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Merck & Co's pollen allergy drug Ragwitek.

The tablet, which is administered by placing it under the tongue, is to treat the short ragweed pollen induced allergic rhinitis. (r.reuters.com/nyg68v)

The approval for Ragwitek comes days after U.S. regulatory approval for Merck's grass pollen allergy drug Grastek.

Merck's Grastek will compete with Stallergenes SA's immunotherapy treatment for five types of grass pollen, which was approved by the FDA earlier this month.

(This story corrects fourth paragraph to say Grastek, not Ragwitek, will compete with Stallergenes' drug)

(Reporting by Shailesh Kuber; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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