HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. -- Nymox Pharmaceutical Corp. has developed a new proprietary treatment for potentially fatal E. coli O157:H7 contamination of beef and other food products.

Laboratory studies showed that the Nymox product, NXC-4720, is capable of reducing the level of E. coli O157 contamination on fresh beef by more than 99 percent.

A recent study by the USDA estimated that the annual cost of illness due to E. coli O157 was $405 million, including $370 million for premature deaths, and concluded that, given the high costs, additional efforts to prevent infections by this pathogen might be warranted.

Despite efforts to improve the safety of the U.S. food supply, outbreaks of potentially deadly E. coli O157 food contamination remain common. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that E. coli O157 infection causes 73,480 illnesses each year in the U.S. From 1982 to 2002, a total of 350 E. coli O157 outbreaks spanning 49 states were reported to the CDC.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly form of a common bacteria that has proven to be a major public health threat to food and water supplies worldwide. Recent outbreaks of deadly E. coli O157:H7 contamination have occurred in Wales, Ireland, France, Canada and the United States from a variety of sources, including ground beef, lettuce, milk, water supplies and petting zoos.

E. coli O157:H7 infection can cause severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps, leading in some cases to kidney failure, particularly in young children and in the elderly, with often serious long-term and sometimes fatal results.

SOURCE: Nymox Pharmaceutical Corporation via Business Wire.