Romark Laboratories Expands African Research in Pediatric AIDS Issues; Effort to Further Qualify Impact of Cryptosporidium on AIDS-Infected Patients

TAMPA, Fla. -- Romark Laboratories, L.C. has expanded its ongoing research activity with AIDS-infected children in Zambia as part of its continuing efforts to broaden the base of knowledge relating to the impact of protozoal infections during treatment programs.

Romark initiated research in Zambia during 2000-2001 with AIDS-infected children as it sought to determine what drugs would minimize or eliminate the side effect, persistent diarrhea, which is caused by the waterborne protozoan, Cryptosporidium. That research, which was eventually published in the British journal, The Lancet, showed that a new drug, nitazoxanide, significantly reduced the duration of diarrhea and the rate of death in malnourished children infected with Cryptosporidium. (Nitazoxanide is now marketed in the U.S. for treatment of pediatric diarrhea under the name Alinia.)

Marc Ayers, president of Romark Laboratories, said the decision to move forward on expanded research was prompted by the realization that nitazoxanide (Alinia) has the potential for broad application in the treatments of multiple illnesses where waterborne protozoan such as Cryptosporidium and Giardiasis are perceived to be the cause.

"When the Food and Drug Administration approved Alinia for the treatment of persistent diarrhea in children in 2002, it was the first new drug of this type to come to market in 40 years. We believe there are many other related illnesses that can be treated with this drug," he added.

Ayers said the research effort is focused in the African nation of Zambia because of the large population of malnourished AIDS-infected children, which in turn provides a consistent and controlled study group. The research effort is being coordinated through the University of London. The study is taking place at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.

"Our hope is to provide the world new applications for nitazoxanide. Waterborne protozoal infections are one of the world's leading causes of death, especially among children," Ayers said.

Romark Laboratories is a privately owned, research-based pharmaceutical company based in Tampa, Fla., dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative new pharmaceutical products for treating infectious diseases and cancer.

Source: Romark Laboratories, L.C.

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