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new antiterorist drug

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    Anti Terrorism Drug

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    The Board of Directors is pleased to announce a further technical success by Vital Health Sciences Limited ("VHS") a company in which Vital Capital Limited has a 35.5 per cent equity interest.

    VHS has, today, announced the results of research conducted by Monash University and the Victorian University of Technology on the ability of its patented technology to more effectively and easily deliver a drug used to treat people exposed to a range of chemical warfare agents.

    Attached for release to the market is a copy of the VHS announcement.



    Research conducted by Monash University and the Victorian University of Technology has concluded that atropine, a drug used to treat people exposed to a range of chemical warfare agents, is more effectively and easily delivered to the body using patented technology developed by a Melbourne company, Vital Health Sciences Ltd (VHS).

    In the event of chemical warfare, armed forces or civilian populations may need to treat themselves with atropine within minutes of potential exposure to receive protection against the chemical agent. Currently, atropine can only be administered by injection and multiple injections are often required because of the short duration of protection provided by injections.

    VHS has developed a technology that will allow atropine to be administered to the body by patch or cream. The research conducted by the Universities indicates that atropine cream, designed to be administered via an adhesive patch, was active for up to six hours after initial application.

    Atropine is an antidote to deadly nerve agents, including Sarin, Tabun and Soman. Sarin was used in the 1998 terrorist attack on the Japanese subway system. These nerve agents are colourless, odourless and disrupt neurotransmission. They can kill within minutes of being inhaled or absorbed.

    Dr Robert Widdop of Monash University's Department of Pharmacology says "This preliminary study clearly demonstrates the VHS delivery system is potentially a user friendly and effective alternative to atropine injections."

    "Extrapolating from the study, this new method of delivery has the potential to reduce the effects of exposure to chemical warfare. Additionally the therapy may minimise the need for urgent hospitalisation and frequent invasive intravenous administration of the drug," says Dr Widdop.

    VHS director, Mr Harry Rosen says the commercial implications of these developments are significant.

    "VHS is committed to improving the efficacy of drug delivery. It is very difficult to effectively administer injectable atropine if large numbers of civilians or military personnel are exposed. In contrast, our technology can be effectively and rapidly administered to a large population under threat - or one that has been exposed. Atropine is crucial in today's world of terrorist threats, and many people are likely to want access to or use of a convenient form of the antidote."

    "The same technology has important uses in peacetime for premedication of patients prior to anaesthesia and other medical uses. If VHS can successfully market a better method of delivering atropine, the commercial prospects are sound. An atropine patch would also be less expensive than current auto-injector systems and therefore available for wider distribution," he said.

    VHS is 35.5% owned by Vital Capital Limited. ASX code: VIT.

    For more information contact:

    Dr Esra Ogru RESEARCH MANAGER Vital Health Sciences Ltd 0402 080846 03 9605 5900

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