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YUGOSLAVIA AUTHORIZES VIRAZOLE USE FOR HEMORRHAGIC FEVER WITH RENAL SYNDROME

 YUGOSLAVIA AUTHORIZES VIRAZOLE USE
 FOR HEMORRHAGIC FEVER WITH RENAL SYNDROME
 COSTA MESA, Calif., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The national health authority of Yugoslavia has authorized SPI Pharmaceutical's (AMEX: SPI) Belgrade-subsidiary, ICN Galenika, to market the antiviral drug Virazole (ribavirin) in injectable form for the treatment of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS).
 Yugoslavia is the first European nation to authorize the use of Virazole for HFRS. It is a disease characterized by, among other symptoms, severe shock, internal bleeding and kidney failure. The type of HFRS, which was diagnosed in Yugoslavia, caused by the Hantaan virus, is often fatal.
 Hemorrhagic fever, a highly contagious disease, is most prevalent in the Third World. In China, where some 300,000 cases are diagnosed each year, the mortality rate is believed to be more tn producing and marketing Virazole in that nation.
 Outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever have been noted in recent years in Yugoslavia, as well as in the neighboring countries of Bulgaria, Albania and Greece. Authorization in Yugoslavia follows the deaths of 15 people in the 1989 outbreak. Virazole was administered compassionately at that time, helping to end the outbreak. Authorization is based on the use of Virazole during that time period.
 Additional support for the use of Virazole for HFRS in Yugoslavia was based on a double-blind, placebo-controlled U.S. Army clinical study conducted at nine sites in the Hubei Province, China, in collaboration with Hubei Medical College.
 SPI Pharmaceuticals has a new drug application pending before the Food and Drug Administration for Orphan Drug Act status in the United States for Virazole for HFRS.
 The patent to Virazole is held by Viratek Inc., a subsidiary of ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. It is licensed for marketing to SPI Pharmaceuticals, Viratek's sister company.
 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- 4/29/92
 /CONTACT: Paul Knopick of SPI Pharmaceuticals, 714-545-0100, ext. 2465/
 (SPI) CO: SPI Pharmaceuticals Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:


KJ-AL -- LA012 -- 4380 04/29/92 12:25 EDT
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Date:Apr 29, 1992
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