E. coli Outbreak in Canada

Provides Study Opportunity for Company

CALGARY, CANADA-An outbreak of E. coli has provided an unique opportunity for a pharmaceutical company developing a drug to treat the bacteria. Canadian-based Synsorb Biotech was asked to supply its Synsorb Pk(R) to hospitals in Walkerton, Ontario, where hundreds of residents have become ill after drinking contaminated water. The Canadian Health Authorities issued approval for emergency use of the treatment designed to prevent serious complications associated with verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) infections. Synsorb Pk(R) attaches to the bacteria's toxins and neutralizes them allowing safe passage through the digestive tract. According to Synsorb, approximately 10% of the patients who become infected with E. coli develop Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a potentially deadly kidney disease. Consequently, the treatment has been given fast track product designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Synsorb has been delayed producing clinical trial results because large-scale outbreaks are rare.