HONG KONG, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- PRB Pharmaceuticals and Lees Pharmaceuticals announced today that they are working with government and hospital officials in Southeast Asia to provide VIRA 38 for the treatment and prevention of bird flu (H5N1). VIRA 38 is on the market in Hong Kong and the will be available in China and Taiwan soon.
VIRA 38, a composition of plant extracts, first gained notoriety during the Taiwan SARS outbreak of 2003 when it was used by the Taiwan Presidential staff and doctors at Sungshan Hospital (SARS management facility) and again in the spring of 2004 when it was discovered that compounds in VIRA 38 block bird flu virus (H5N1) infections.
"The World Health Organization has urged our industry to step up efforts to address the bird flu situation. To meet this challenge, we are donating VIRA 38 to medical staff and select high risk groups in bird flu afflicted areas," said Dr. Charles Hensley, Chairman and CEO of PRB Pharmaceuticals. "For further details on this program, interested parties should refer to our web site at http://www.prbpharmaceuticals.com/."
"VIRA 38 will be used initially to protect high-risk groups such as hospital medical staff and rural farming households," said Dr. Benjamin Li, CEO of Lee's Pharmaceuticals. "It is of critical importance to protect the population at large." VIRA 38 is currently being used as a preventive measure by workers in live poultry markets in Hong Kong, the source of the original outbreak of bird flu in humans.
"Our concern with the situation in Southeast Asia and Vietnam in particular is that as more human bird flu cases occur, the chances become greater the virus will ignite a global pandemic that could kill up to 100 million people worldwide," added Hensley. "This is a deadly game of Russian Roulette."
About VIRA 38
VIRA 38, PRB Pharmaceuticals' over-the-counter broad spectrum anti-viral medication is known for its effectiveness in treating and preventing influenza. VIRA 38 has recently been shown to contain compounds that inhibit the bird flu (H5N1) virus. Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, have previously discovered these same compounds to be effective against a variety of pathogens including SARS CoV, the virus responsible for causing severe acute respiratory syndrome.
About PRB Pharmaceuticals
PRB Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (http://www.prbpharmaceuticals.com/) is based in Irvine, California and Hong Kong. PRB Pharmaceuticals is a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company that develops unique and highly efficacious anti- viral treatments and preventative therapies.
About Lee's Pharmaceuticals
Lee's Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd. (http://www.leespharm.com/EN/) (Hong Kong Exchange GEM Stock:8221) distributes VIRA 38 to the Hong Kong market. Lee's is an integrated research-driven and market-oriented pharmaceutical company engaged in the development, manufacture and sales of quality biopharmaceutical products that focus on combating cardiovascular and viral diseases.
Dr. Charles Hensley
310 937-1405 (FAX)
Hong Kong Contact:
852 2314 1282
852 2314 1708 (FAX)
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PRB Pharmaceuticals, Inc.