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JOHN E. GAIT, M.D., JOINS ICN PHARMACEUTICALS' VIRATEK SUBSIDIARY AS INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL DIRECTOR TO DIRECT VIRAZOLE CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT

 COSTA MESA, Calif., Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- John E. Gait, M.D., an experienced pharmaceutical physician with significant background in conducting clinical trials, has been named international medical director of Viratek Inc. (AMEX: VRA), Nils Johannesson, M.D., Ph.D., president of Viratek, an ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: ICN) subsidiary, announced today.
 Gait will direct continued development of antiviral compounds, including the company's proprietary antiviral Virazole (ribavirin) for the proposed indication of chronic hepatitis C.
 Gait was previously a member of the Department of Medical Affairs for Norwich Eaton/Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in New York. In that position, Gait, whose responsibilities included working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, oversaw large Phase III clinical trials to gain authorization to market a major anti-infective product.
 Gait has also held positions as head of Medical Affairs for the European division of Norwich Eaton Ltd., and medical adviser and research physician for The Boots Co., a pharmaceutical firm in the United Kingdom.
 Gait is a graduate of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London, and is a member of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians.
 Viratek recently announced it has initiated a new pharmaceutical discovery program to develop therapeutic drugs to selectively block the expression of specific disease-causing genes. Based on oligonucleotide antisense technology, the program is targeting research against cancer and viral and skin disorders.
 Viratek, a subsidiary of ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., specializes in the development and licensing of new pharmaceutical compounds from nucleic acid research as well as biomedical research
 -0- 12/14/93 R
 /CONTACT: Jack Sholl, 714-545-0100, ext. 3013/
 (VRA ICN)


CO: Viratek Inc.; ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU: PER

MF-LS -- LA017R -- 3552 12/14/93 10:11 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 14, 1993
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