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Ubisol-Aqua: Coenzyme Q10 May Prevent Toxicity of HIV Drug Therapy

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J., July 26, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Zymes' new water-soluble formulation of coenzyme Q10 increases growth and survival of nerve cells exposed to HIV medications which cause nerve damage, as indicated by Dr. Catherine L. Cherry of the Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia. The results from this study are being presented at the 2007 Meeting of the International Aids Society in Sydney, Australia.

Dr. Cherry studied the safety and effectiveness of coenzyme Q10 in reducing the neurological toxicity of HIV drugs in laboratory models of drug-induced nerve damage. (see Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) inhibit replication of HIV and are central to effective HIV therapy. However, these drugs are potentially harmful to normal cells and can lead to serious side effects in people on long-term anti-viral therapy.

Two of the NRTIs that are still in clinical use (stavudine and didanosine) can cause nerve damage (neuropathy). This neuropathy is one of the most common problems suffered by people living with HIV.

"The treatment of patients with nutrients such as coenzyme Q10 has shown promise in the prevention and treatment of neuropathy in other diseases and has been suggested as a way to reduce the nerve toxicity of antiviral drugs. Until now, we couldn't study coenzyme Q10 because it is insoluble in water. Zymes' water-soluble Ubisol-Aqua(TM): Coenzyme Q10 allows us to study this nutrient in our model of neuropathy caused by these HIV drugs," Dr. Cherry said.

In Dr. Cherry's study, nerve cells from rats were first grown in the presence of Ubisol-Aqua(TM): Coenzyme Q10 alone. They were then grown in the presence of Ubisol-Aqua(TM): Coenzyme Q10 plus stavudine and Ubisol-Aqua(TM): Coenzyme Q10 plus didanosine. The subsequent growth and survival of the nerve cells were measured using video image analysis.

In these studies, Ubisol-Aqua(TM): Coenzyme Q10 alone was associated with significantly increased nerve cell growth and survival. Cells grown with Ubisol-Aqua(TM): Coenzyme Q10 survived at least one week longer than those grown without it. When cells were grown with stavudine or didanosine alone, growth and survival was significantly impaired. However, when Ubisol-Aqua(TM): Coenzyme Q10 was added to either stavudine or didanosine, the toxicity of the drugs was greatly reduced.

After 19 days, nerve cells grown with Ubisol-Aqua(TM): Coenzyme Q10 plus stavudine grew and survived like normal cells, whereas cells exposed to stavudine alone were not growing well. After only 6 days, cells grown with didanosine alone were dying, but the cells grown with Ubisol-Aqua(TM): Coenzyme Q10 and didanosine grew and survived like normal nerve cells.

Dr. Cherry stated, "These data support the possibility that Ubisol-Aqua(TM): Coenzyme Q10 is useful for preventing nerve damage associated with stavudine and didanosine. Controlled trials are needed to confirm this in a clinical setting."

"Achieving water solubility of coenzyme Q10 with our Ubisol-Aqua(TM) technology makes it possible to deliver coenzyme Q10 in a form that improves its functionality," said Dr. Randi Fain, Co-founder and Executive Vice President of Zymes LLC, New Jersey, USA. "We believe the technology can enhance the health benefits of coenzyme Q10 as well as other vitamins, nutrients and medicines to improve the quality of life for patients."

To achieve solubilization, Ubisol-Aqua(TM) uses complexation and reduced particle size. Through this combined approach, Zymes delivers previously water-insoluble compounds as micelles of nanometer size offering many advantages over existing solubilization technologies. Ubisol-Aqua(TM), a pioneering nanotechnology, therefore makes possible the solubilization of water-insoluble biologically active ingredients that would otherwise be commercially and clinically unavailable.

Zymes offers its delivery system technology to industry partners in need of more effective ways of making their ingredients water-soluble and potentially more bioavailable. For more information email or visit

CONTACT: Maria Cartier of Zymes LLC, +1-201-727-1520, ext. 110,

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Posted: July 2007