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November 18, 2002

Media Contacts:Sue Pondrom (619) 543-6163

Popular Science Magazine Cites San Diego-Developed
Oral Smallpox Drug For 2002 Best of What’s New Award

Popular Science magazine has selected the promising oral smallpox drug developed by UCSD School of Medicine researchers at Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System for a “2002 Best of What’s New Award” in the Medical Technology category. The award is announced in the magazine’s December issue.

Karl Hostetler, M.D., director, Endocrine and Metabolism Clinic, VA San Diego Healthcare System and UCSD professor of medicine, and James Beadle, Ph.D., VASDHS and UCSD research professor, led the development effort, in collaboration with research groups headed by John Huggins, Ph.D., USAMRIID, Fort Detrick, Maryland and Earl Kern, Ph.D., University of Alabama, Birmingham.

The oral drug, called hexadecyloxypropyl-cidofovir (HDP-CDV), blocks the activity of variola, the virus that causes smallpox and orthopox viruses, halting their ability to replicate and spread in tissue culture and animals studies. Developed as part of a national research effort to design antiviral drugs for people infected by smallpox, HDP-CDV is not yet available for human use. The drug must still undergo additional testing in animals and safety trials in healthy people.

For more information, see the March 20, 2002 news release that announced the development of the drug: http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2002/03_11_Smallpox.html


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