NPS Pharma FDA Panel Live Blog

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- NPS Pharmaceuticals brings Gattex, a treatment for short bowel syndrome, in front of the Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee today.

Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a chronic and disabling condition that strikes people, who for various reasons including Crohn's disease, have about 50% of their lower intestines surgically removed. A majority of patients can adapt to lead normal lives. A smaller group of SBS patients never recover full functionality of their lower intestines, and a result, must spend the rest of their lives attached to an intravenous parenteral nutrition bag that provides the liquid nutrients they need to survive.

Gattex is an analogue of GLP-2, a protein involved with intestinal growth and function. Administered via a shot under the skin, Gattex is designed to boost the ability of the intestine to absorb nutrients.

Cancer risk possibly attributable to Gattex as well as the clinical meaningfulness of reductions in intravenous feeding will be the two major issues tackled by the experts on Tuesday's FDA advisory panel.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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