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Quality of Life, As Important As Life Itself

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan 17, 2008 - Today, an HIV prognosis comes with an array of possible treatment choices rather than the death sentence it used to hold. While the word "treatment" is liberating to hear for HIV patients, the drugs that are used to combat this chronic disease are replete with a myriad of serious side effects such as kidney stones; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; increased cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose; headaches; weakness; blurred vision; dizziness; rashes; low platelets; hair loss; and anemia.

The faltering quality of life of HIV patients taking these medical cocktails can cause them to question, Has the cost of treatment been too high? "Quality of life issues are leaping to the forefront," says Dr. Janet Greeson, CEO of Samaritan Pharmaceuticals. Samaritan has created an HIV drug, SP-01A, that not only shows efficacy in controlling the virus, it is the only treatment of its kind to demonstrate improved patient quality of life according to the Whalen Scale indices.

An oral entry inhibitor taken as an adjunct, SP-01A is easy for patients to take in pill form and can improve quality of life by enabling users to decrease the dosage of currently taken anti-retroviral drugs, thereby reducing side effects. SP-01A does not treat the virus, rather, it created a firewall around healthy cells that prevents HIV entry. Unlike currently approved antiretroviral therapies, SP-01A conditions the cell membrane as opposed to targeting the virus or its receptors directly.

According to a recent New York Times article, HIV patients who have been on a mixture of drugs are suddenly facing unexpected medical conditions. The article reported that a relatively young AIDS patient who was diagnosed two decades ago, suffers from complex health problems usually associated with advanced age such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, kidney failure, a bleeding ulcer, severe depression, cancer, and the lingering effects of a broken hip. Experts believe the immune system and organs of long-time survivors are aging and damaged from a combination of the disease and the toxicity of the drugs.

"HIV patients are living longer and we remain focused on saving lives," says Dr. Greeson. "But we are increasingly aware that quality of life issues taken into consideration during drug development serve not only patients but companies as well."

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IRG for Samaritan
Laura Colontrelle, 212-825-3210

Posted: January 2008