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RUSSIA AUTHORIZES VIRAZOLE FOR TREATMENT OF RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS

 RUSSIA AUTHORIZES VIRAZOLE FOR TREATMENT
 OF RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS
 COSTA MESA, Calif., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: ICN) and its SPI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMEX: SPI) subsidiary announced today that the government of Russia has authorized the antiviral drug Virazole (ribavirin) in aerosol form for the treatment of infants hospitalized with severe lower respiratory tract infection caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
 The companies said permission to use the drug for RSV in Russia had been granted by the Pharmacological Committee of the Ministry of Health of Russia, followed by the official registration issued by the Committee for the Introduction of New Foreign Drugs of the same Ministry. Russian authorization was based on two clinical trials conducted in 1990 with aerosolized Virazole among 70 children in hospitals in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as worldwide clinical data on Virazole in the treatment of RSV.
 Virazole will be marketed in Russia under the ICN trade name by ICN Galenika, SPI's Eastern European venture company. The patent to Virazole is held by ICN's research and development subsidiary, Viratek Inc. (NASDAQ: VIRA) which receives royalties on sales of Virazole by SPI.
 Russian authorization brings to 21 the number of countries where aerosolized Virazole is authorized to treat infants hospitalized with RSV. Aerosolized Virazole has been authorized in the United States since 1986 for the treatment of infants with severe lower respiratory tract infection caused by RSV. Since then, some 95,000 children have been treated with aerosolized Virazole for RSV in the United States. RSV is also epidemic in Russia.
 ICN Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Costa Mesa, is a worldwide health care company. Its SPI Pharmaceuticals subsidiary makes, markets and distributes some 600 prescription and nonprescription pharmaceuticals in more than 60 countries. Viratek conducts pharmaceutical development based on nucleic acid research.
 -0- 1/23/92
 /CONTACT: Jack Sholl of ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., 714-545-0100, ext. 3013/
 (ICN SPI VIRA) CO: ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc.; SPI Pharmaceuticals; Viratek Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:


LL-JL -- LA013 -- 2645 01/23/92 09:18 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 23, 1992
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