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ULCER CURE LINKED TO COMMON BACTERIUM; ULCER PATIENTS SHOULD INQUIRE ABOUT TEST FOR H. PYLORI

 ULCER CURE LINKED TO COMMON BACTERIUM;
 ULCER PATIENTS SHOULD INQUIRE ABOUT TEST FOR H. PYLORI
 SAN DIEGO, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Can ulcers be cured? The answer may surprise millions of Americans who suffer from chronic stomach ailments. In fact, a visit to the doctor's office may lead to a permanent solution for chronic gastritis and recurring ulcers.
 Doctors now use a rapid office test that can be performed in seven minutes without instrumentation, to determine if their patients have been exposed to a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, commonly known as H. pylori. Experts recommend that chronic gastritis and ulcer patients visit their doctors to determine if their stomach problems can be easily cured by eliminating H. pylori. Dr. Howard Robin, a pathologist and medical director of Laboratory Services at Sharp Cabrillo Hospital in San Diego, says, "Physicians should consider testing for H. pylori in patients with recurrent gastric symptoms such as frequent belching, abdominal discomfort and acid indigestion. We now have, for the first time, an effective therapy for gastritis and peptic ulcer disease caused by the H. pylori bacterium."
 More than one in 10 Americans will suffer from an ulcer during their lifetime. Ulcers have traditionally been thought to be caused by excess stomach acid triggered by stress. However, recent medical research conducted by Dr. David Y. Graham at Baylor College of Medicine found that ulcers may actually be caused by this bacterium, which was first identified by Dr. Barry Marshall, professor of gastroenterology at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.
 The Baylor research team measured the effect of antibiotics on two groups of patients with histories of ulcer disease and who were diagnosed positive for H. pylori. Group one received conventional prescription anti-ulcer medication designed to reduce the production of stomach acid. Group two received antibiotics, in addition to the same anti-ulcer medication, to kill the H. pylori that was infecting their stomachs.
 After following the progress of both groups for two years, the study concluded that if H. pylori is eradicated from the stomach lining through antibiotic treatment, most chronic sufferers will not have their ulcers recur. In fact, only about 10 percent of those receiving antibiotic therapy had their ulcers recur within the study period compared to a recurrence rate of nearly 75 percent of patients receiving anti-ulcer medication alone.
 Similar findings have been reported at Stanford and other universities. News of these experiments has resulted in growing support from the medical community as doctors are treating an increasing number of ulcer patients for H. pylori.
 QUIDEL Corp. (NASDAQ: QDEL), a San Diego-based biotechnology company, was first to introduce a rapid test for H. pylori in the doctor's office. It introduced the test last year as a result of growing medical evidence linking this organism to gastritis and ulcer disease. "Two years ago, QUIDEL recognized the pioneering medical research by Dr. Marshall and Dr. Graham and the ensuing market opportunities by developing a rapid, easy-to-use H. pylori test," said Scott L. Glenn, chairman and chief executive officer of QUIDEL. "The fact that bacteria may cause stomach ulcers is clearly a major advancement in our understanding of ulcers and represents great news for those who suffer from this disease. Chronic use of medication may no longer be necessary to control their ulcers. We urge patients to ask their doctors if this type of treatment might be appropriate for them."
 In addition to improving patient health, QUIDEL also believes the treatment to eradicate H. pylori is cost effective. One year of prescription anti-ulcer medication can cost more than $700, while treatment for H. pylori costs less than $35. Additionally, treatments for H. pylori can be done by a general practitioner, saving a patient visits to an expensive specialist.
 Although treating a patient for H. pylori will not always cure an ulcer, mounting evidence suggests that this is an important first step in treating a patient with chronic gastritis and ulcer disease.
 -0- 9/22/92
 /CONTACT: Mark Francois of QUIDEL Corp., 619-552-7931; or Anthony J. Russo, Ph.D. of Noonan/Russo Communications Inc., 212-979-9180, for QUIDEL/
 (QDEL) CO: QUIDEL Corp. ST: California IN: HEA MTC SU:


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Date:Sep 22, 1992
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