June 26, 2009 / 5:38 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Europe extends Novartis bone drug use

* EU approves Acalsta for osteoporosis caused by steroids

* Steroids can increase risk of fractures

(Adds details)

ZURICH, June 26 (Reuters) - European regulators have broadened approval for Novartis AG’s NOVN.VX bone drug Aclasta to treat osteoporosis caused by steriod treatment in men and postmenopausal women, the Swiss group said on Friday.

Aclasta, known as Reclast in the United States, is administered once yearly and is already approved in both the U.S. and Europe as a once-yearly infusion for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Steriods are widely used to treat inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, but also cause bone loss and can increase the risk of fracture in up to 50 percent of patients on long-term therapy. (Reporting by Sam Cage; Editing by Hans Peters)

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