Future Medical Products Inc. has exercised its right, a yearahead of time, to repurchase 5.2 million shares of stock of itsViromedics Inc. subsidiary, which is developing an AIDS"disinfectant" with potential therapeutic applications.
The shares, originally sold to CCC Franchising Corp. in 1990,give FMP 12 million shares, or 60 percent, of the 20 millionViromedics shares outstanding.
Viromedics is testing the activity against HIV of a class oforganic compounds called alkylureas. "To the best of ourknowledge, the compounds destroy the viral membrane andchop up the virus into small, non-infectious particles," saidHerb Glicksman, executive vice president at FMP(NASDAQ:FMPI).
According to Glicksman, the compounds work against both freevirus and virus in cells, without killing the cells. The companyplans to begin animal trials in the first half of this year.
Alkylureas would complement other AIDS therapeutics, saidGlicksman. "We envision a cocktail; for example, adding ourdrug to an existing drug like AZT, which would let you reducethe dose of AZT." The chemicals could also be used to clean theblood by passing it through membranes impregnated withalkylureas, he said.
Viromedics first looked at alkylureas, particularly butylurea, asa method of killing HIV in the blood supply. The company isdeveloping coatings for blood bags, surgical gloves andcondoms, and a "disinfectant" for medical and dentalequipment.
The company hopes to have products on the market in Europethis year and in the United States in 1993. It is negotiatinglicensing agreements with blood bag and condommanufacturers.
FMP, located in Hauppauge, N.Y., holds a patent on the use ofalkylureas to treat AIDS and has filed for a patent on their usein blood bags. -- Karen Bernstein
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