Research using technology patented by Medizone International Inc. has shown that ozone can inactivate the AIDS virus but does not destroy the hemophilia treatment protein, Factor VIII, in blood products.

The New York company is developing its ozone system to preserve important blood proteins while inactivating viruses that have lipid-based coats, such as HIV and the hepatitis and herpes viruses. Company researcher Joseph Latino told BioWorld that Medizone has filed an investigational new drug application for testing the ozone delivery system as a therapy for these viral infections.

Medizone is gathering data on passing the body's blood through the closed hollow fibers that deliver ozone, and returning the purified blood to the body. The company expects to start Phase I tests "somewhere in the first quarter of 1992," Latino said.

Ozone, the triatomic form of oxygen, is a potent oxidant that has broad action against microbes and is used in sewage treatment, water purification and medicine.

In a report published in the journal Blood, Latino and his colleagues suggested that the anti-viral effect of ozone could include disruption of the lipid coat, inhibition of HIV's reverse transcriptase enzyme or impairment of the virus' ability to latch onto its cell targets. Latino's collaborators included scientists at the State University of New York Health Sciences Center in Syracuse and the Brooklyn Hospital, and at Merck Pharmaceuticals in West Point, Pa.

-- Roberta Friedman, Ph.D. Special to BioWorld

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.