A clinical study by a University of California researcherindicates that a controlled-release system developed by AlzaCorp. for oral applications is more effective than a conventionaltreatment.

The Phase I/II trial tested Alza's Mucosal Oral TherapeuticSystem (MOTS) to deliver nystatin topically for the treatmentof oral candidiasis. The study was conducted on 25 HIV-infected patients. The fungal infection is common in AIDSpatients.

The MOTS non-dissolving lozenge delivered anti-fungalnystatin, an accepted treatment for the condition. Patientsusing MOTS cleared candidiasis more rapidly than those takinga conventional dissolving tablet, according to Dr. DeborahGreenspan, a U.C., San Francisco, researcher who led the trialsand reported the data last week.

MOTS capsules are made of a material that allows saliva to passthrough. The interior contains a medication layer and a "push"layer of the absorbant material. As saliva passes through theouter membrane, the push layer absorbs it and graduallyexpands. The expansion pushes the drug through a tiny hole inthe membrane. The capsule changes color when all of themedication has been released.

Alza will initiate larger Phase II trials of MOTS-nystatin laterthis year, said Myriam Encarnacion, associate medical directorat the company. -- Steve Usdin

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