SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - August 08, 2011) - Hope Pharmaceuticals today announced the launch of Nithiodote© (co-packaged Sodium Nitrite Injection, USP and Sodium Thiosulfate Injection, USP), a new antidote indicated for the treatment of acute cyanide poisoning that is judged to be life-threatening. Because the introduction of new antidotes for the treatment of chemical threats can enhance public safety and homeland security, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Priority Review status to Hope Pharmaceuticals' New Drug Application and subsequently approved Nithiodote earlier this year.
Cyanide blocks the use of oxygen by cells. Organs that routinely use large quantities of oxygen to function, such as the brain and the heart, sustain irreversible injury if deprived of oxygen for as little as four minutes. If not treated and resolved quickly, cyanide poisoning can be lethal.
Lethal exposures to cyanide generally result from industrial accidents, suicides, and terrorist attacks. Examples include the use of cyanide in the 1979 mass murder in Jonestown, Guyana; the 1982 lacing of over-the-counter medicine in Chicago; and the 1995 attack of a subway system in Tokyo.
Nithiodote consists of two medications that are packaged together, Sodium Nitrite Injection and Sodium Thiosulfate Injection. Each of these medications has a different action against cyanide. Sodium nitrite helps to remove cyanide from cells and thereby restores cellular use of oxygen. Sodium thiosulfate converts cyanide to a less toxic molecule that can be readily excreted in the urine. The combination significantly enhances the detoxification of cyanide compared to the individual effects of each.
"Every second is huge with the treatment of cyanide poisoning," said Craig Sherman, M.D., Medical Director of Hope Pharmaceuticals. "Unlike other medications, Nithiodote is ready stat since sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate are sterile solutions that can be administered immediately without delay." Sodium nitrite can be infused in as little as two minutes, and sodium thiosulfate can be infused immediately afterwards.
Nithiodote is approved for the treatment of children and adults.
Nithiodote and its active ingredients are manufactured in the United States.
Hope Pharmaceuticals is a privately owned company located in Scottsdale, Arizona.