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SPI PHARMACEUTICALS ANNOUNCES MEXICAN AUTHORIZATION OF VIRAZOLE ANTIVIRAL CREAM FOR HERPES

 SPI PHARMACEUTICALS ANNOUNCES MEXICAN AUTHORIZATION
 OF VIRAZOLE ANTIVIRAL CREAM FOR HERPES
 COSTA MESA, Calif., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- SPI Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AMEX: SPI) today announced that the Mexican government has authorized use of its antiviral cream Virazole (ribavirin 7.5 percent) to treat herpes zoster and herpes genitalis.
 SPI markets the antiviral Virazole (ribavirin) in several different formulations in Mexico under the trade names Vilona and Virazide.
 Herpes zoster, caused by the varicella-zoster virus, is a frequent herpes infection in adults. Patients may suffer severe pain associated with lesions which erupt along nerve tracts. In some patients, postherapeutic neuralgia, a persistent pain and the main complication of herpes zoster, may persist for long periods.
 In clinical trials in Mexico, 90 percent of the patients responded satisfactorily to treatment and lesions healed within about one week. All patients also responded when Virazole (ribavirin) was administered orally.
 Genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease caused by herpes simplex type 2 virus is most frequent in young adults.
 In clinical trials in Mexico, 83 percent of all lesions crusted by day three of treatment and no new outbreak was seen during the trial. When ribavirin was also administered orally, 100 percent of all lesions crusted.
 SPI's subsidiary in Mexico City, which employs approximately 800 workers, is one of the largest U.S. pharmaceutical companies in the country.
 The antiviral Virazole (ribavirin) is authorized in 40 countries for a variety of viral infections. In the United States and 20 other countries, it is authorized in aerosolized form for the treatment of infants hospitalized with severe lower respiratory tract infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus. The patent to Virazole is held by Viratek Inc. (AMEX: VIRA), which receives royalties on its sale by SPI.
 SPI Pharmaceuticals Inc., headquartered in Costa Mesa, manufactures, markets and distributes 600 prescription and nonprescription pharmaceuticals in more than 60 countries, including North and Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Far East.
 -0- 9/28/92
 /CONTACT: Paul Knopick of SPI Pharmaceuticals, 714-545-0100, ext. 2465
 (SPI VIRA) CO: SPI Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Virateck Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:


EH -- LA013 -- 3980 09/28/92 12:56 EDT
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Date:Sep 28, 1992
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