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FAVORABLE RESULTS OF IPPA PHASE II STUDY REPORTED IN MEDICAL JOURNAL, MEDCO RESEARCH SAYS; COMPANY FILES IND TO CONDUCT NEW CLINICAL TRIALS

 FAVORABLE RESULTS OF IPPA PHASE II STUDY REPORTED IN MEDICAL JOURNAL,
 MEDCO RESEARCH SAYS; COMPANY FILES IND TO CONDUCT NEW CLINICAL TRIALS
 LOS ANGELES, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Medco Research, Inc. (AMEX: MRE) reported today that a Phase II clinical study of IPPA, a nuclear cardiac diagnostic, showed that certain patients who would have been considered unlikely to benefit from coronary bypass surgery can benefit from the procedure. The study, conducted by Dr. Gary Murray of Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., is reported in the July issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Medco also announced today that it had filed an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commence its own clinical development program to build on the data of the independent study.
 The study showed that IPPA can identify heart muscle that is metabolically active, although common diagnostic techniques show it to be dead or nonviable due to diminished blood flow. This metabolically active "hibernating" tissue can be restored to normal function through coronary bypass surgery or balloon angioplasty, increasing the overall performance of the heart.
 In the study, 15 patients with severe coronary disease and depressed heart function underwent IPPA scanning. Forty-two heart muscle compartments were identified across the group and their function was assessed before and after bypass surgery. Of 22 compartments with no initial detectable ability to contract, IPPA determined that 16 compartments (73 percent) were hibernating and therefore still viable. After bypass restored blood flow, 80 percent of these compartments showed improved function. Biopsies taken during bypass surgery confirmed IPPA scan results in 91 percent of compartments. IPPA had a sensitivity of 91 percent and a specificity of 86 percent compared to the biopsies.
 IPPA, which stands for iodophenylpentadecanoic acid, is a synthetic fatty acid coupled to a radioisotope, iodine-123. Once injected, IPPA is taken up and metabolized by heart muscle, and iodine concentrates long enough to identify those compartments which are active or viable. A standard nuclear camera, common to most U.S. hospitals, is sufficient for imaging.
 IPPA indicates metabolic activity, unlike common diagnostic techniques, such as echocardiography or nuclear wall motion studies which measure function, or thallium or Cardiolite(R) scans which measure blood flow. Both types of techniques identify as dead or nonviable, heart muscle which is only "hibernating."
 Murray, who obtained IPPA directly from its manufacturer, Nordion International, and conducted the studies under his own IND, commented that, "The IPPA scanning technique provided information that would not be obtained from standard diagnostic procedures. Based on the data from the study, we can now routinely make decisions informed by IPPA results to send our patients to bypass."
 In April, 1992, Medco licensed U.S. rights to IPPA from Nordion International, which will continue to be the manufacturer. Medco is collaborating in the clinical program with BioImaging Technologies, a company with expertise in imaging software, to develop image acquisition and processing capabilities.
 "The results of Dr. Murray's 15-patient study are encouraging," said Dr. Archie Prestayko, president and CEO of Medco Research. "We now hope to repeat these results on the larger scale of a multi-center trial. If these initial results are corroborated in the larger study, we believe that use of IPPA could affect an estimated 300,000 of the 1.5 million patients who undergo thallium imaging each year in the U.S. IPPA may provide a less expensive alternative to PET scanning which is available only at select medical centers."
 Medco Research is a pharmaceutical company engaged in the acquisition, research and development of new prescription drugs for the diagnosis or treatment of certain cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
 -0- 7/8/92
 /CONTACT: Archie W. Prestayko of Medco Research, 213-966-4148, or Fredric J. Spar of Kekst & Company, 212-593-2655, for Medco Research/
 (MRE) CO: Medco Research Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:


TS -- NY015 -- 7302 07/08/92 09:23 EDT
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Date:Jul 8, 1992
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