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

The New York company is developing its ozone system topreserve important blood proteins while inactivating virusesthat have lipid-based coats, such as HIV and the hepatitis andherpes viruses. Company researcher Joseph Latino toldBioWorld that Medizone has filed an investigational new drugapplication for testing the ozone delivery system as a therapyfor these viral infections.

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

Ozone, the triatomic form of oxygen, is a potent oxidant thathas broad action against microbes and is used in sewagetreatment, water purification and medicine.

In a report published in the journal Blood, Latino and hiscolleagues suggested that the anti-viral effect of ozone couldinclude disruption of the lipid coat, inhibition of HIV's reversetranscriptase enzyme or impairment of the virus' ability tolatch onto its cell targets. Latino's collaborators includedscientists at the State University of New York Health SciencesCenter in Syracuse and the Brooklyn Hospital, and at MerckPharmaceuticals in West Point, Pa.

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

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