Genital Herpes Information

Jennifer Kinscy jkinscy at mcny.com
Wed Jan 29 14:31:00 EST 1997


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For further information on Famvir, a full version of the Famvir press
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        Study Shows Famvir Safe And Effective In Treating Shingles 
                        In HIV-Infected Patients
     
        Washington, D.C., January 24, 1997 -- In interim results from a
study presented today, Famvir (famciclovir, SmithKline Beecham) was safe 
and effective in treating shingles (acute herpes zoster) in HIV-infected 
patients.  Famvir halted the progression of shingles, relieved pain, and 
accelerated healing in the majority of patients who received treatment 
within three days of lesion onset.  The results were presented by Daniel 
Skiest, M.D., at the Fourth Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic 
Infections in Washington, D.C.
     
        In this ongoing, multicenter, open-label study, an analysis was
conducted of 15 HIV-infected patients (seven males, eight females) with 
shingles who received Famvir 500 mg three times daily for seven days 
within 72 hours of lesion onset.  To evaluate the effects of Famvir on a 
shingles episode, the investigators observed the changes in the course of 
an episode over one month.  At each visit, the lesion stages (papules, 
blisters, ulcers, crusts) were recorded.  By the fourth day, blister 
formation had ceased in 67 percent of patients and in 100 percent of 
patients by the seventh day.  Lesions were fully crusted in 60 percent of 
patients by the tenth day.  Approximately 80 percent of patients reported 
complete lesion healing by day 28.
     
        Famvir was also effective in relieving pain associated with
shingles.  Fifty-five percent of the patients reported a loss of all pain 
within four weeks of treatment with Famvir.
     
        Shingles is a viral disease caused by the varicella zoster virus
(VZV), the same virus that causes chicken pox, and is characterized by an 
outbreak of painful and itchy blister-like sores which may last up to six 
weeks.  Shingles, which affects an estimated 850,000 Americans each year, 
is eight times more likely to develop in HIV-infected patients than in 
the 
general population and can lead to increased morbidity.  In 
immunocompromised patients, the virus can spread by dissemination to 
other 
parts of the body such as the liver or lungs which is potentially life 
threatening.
     
        These data also suggest that the response to Famvir in
HIV-infected individuals with shingles compares favorably to the response 
previously reported for immunocompetent individuals with shingles who 
were 
treated with Famvir.  Famvir is the well-absorbed oral form of 
penciclovir 
with 77 percent bioavailability.  It is a potent antiviral agent that is 
highly selective for members of the herpesvirus family, including the 
shingles virus.  In addition, Famvir has a long intracellular half-life 
in 
infected cells in vitro which allows for persistent antiviral activity. 
Famvir, in its active form as penciclovir, has been shown to have a 
half-life of 10-20 hours in herpesvirus infected cells in vitro versus 
one 
hour or less for acyclovir.
     
        Famvir is currently indicated for the treatment of recurrent
genital herpes and acute herpes zoster (shingles) in immunocompetent 
individuals.  It is being studied for the treatment of a number of 
infections in immunocompromised individuals.  Data previously presented 
showed that Famvir was safe and effective in preventing recurrent genital 
herpes in HIV-infected patients.  SmithKline Beecham plans to file a 
supplementary new drug application (SNDA) for Famvir for the treatment of 
acute herpes zoster and recurrent genital herpes in immunocompromised 
individuals later this year.
     
        For further information on Famvir, a full version of the Famvir
press release is available FREE by e-mailing herpes at mcny.com.  In the 
subject area please write subscribe herpes "your e-mail address."  The 
information will automatically be sent to you.  To delete your name 
please 
write unsubscribe herpes "your e-mail address."  
     
     
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