040919 New Method for Treating E. Coli ContaminationSeptember 30, 2004
Maywood, NJ - Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation's proprietary NXC-4720 product for the treatment of potentially fatal E. coli O157:H7 contamination has applications beyond treatment of meat at the processing stage, according to Michael Munzar, MD, Medical Director of Nymox. E. coli O157 bacteria can not only contaminate meat products such as ground beef but also public water supplies that can become contaminated from run-off from cattle farming operations where there are cattle harboring the deadly bacteria.
"There are a number of different avenues for addressing the public health problem posed by E. coli O157:H7 contamination of food and drink products and of water supplies," said Dr. Munzar. "One avenue is at the meat or food product processing stage. Studies of Nymox's NXC-4720 product have shown excellent results as a potential treatment at this stage. We are also testing the use of NXC-4720 as a potential treatment for E. coli O157:H7 in cattle. Such a treatment would have the potential of both reducing E. coli contamination of processed meat, and also the environmental and public health threat caused by cattle shedding E. coli O157:H7."
E. coli O157:H7 bacterial contamination is a major public health problem throughout the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States alone, 73,000 human cases occur every year as a result of E. coli O157 contamination of food and drink products and of water supplies. This type of E. coli infection can cause severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps and can lead to kidney failure, particularly in young children and in the elderly, with often serious long term and sometimes fatal results.
E. coli O157 contamination also remains a serious problem for the meat packing industry. One United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) study estimated the direct and indirect costs of foodborne E. coli O157 infections at over $650 million per year. In 2002 alone, over 23 million pounds of meat were recalled in the U.S. because of possible E. coli contamination, affecting all sectors of the meat industry from large meat processors to local supermarkets and many consumers. On average, Americans consume over 65 pounds of beef per person per year.
Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation is a biotechnology company engaged in the research and development of therapeutics and diagnostics, with a particular emphasis on products targeted for the unmet needs of the aging population. Currently Nymox has three products on the market, and a healthy pipeline of drug and diagnostic products. The Company also has several hundred patents and patent applications. Nymox offers AlzheimAlert(TM), a test to aid in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. The Company is conducting pivotal Phase II clinical trials for NX-1207 a drug for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The Company markets NicAlert(TM) and TobacAlert(TM) tests for measuring tobacco product exposure. Nymox has a number of drugs in development for Alzheimer's disease, oncology, and infectious disease.