U.S. FDA approves Pfizer drug for menopause symptoms

Reuters
People walk past the Pfizer Inc. headquarters in New York
People walk past the Pfizer Inc. headquarters in New York, January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - U.S. health regulators approved Pfizer Inc's menopause drug Duavee, which the company hopes will reduce hot flashes with fewer side effects than older hormone-replacement therapies.

The Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday it approved the drug to treat women with moderate to severe menopause symptoms and to prevent post-menopausal osteoporosis, a bone disease which can increase the risk of fractures.

The drug, which Pfizer is developing with Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc, combines bazedoxifene - which belongs to a class of drugs known as selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMS - and conjugated estrogens, which are derived from the urine of pregnant horses and contained in Pfizer's menopause drug Premarin.

(Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)