Media Statement On Nuclear Crisis In Japan
Heyltex Corporation is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Radiogardase® (Prussian Blue insoluble capsules), the only FDA-approved drug to treat people who have been internally contaminated with radioactive cesium (Cs-137), which is manufactured by Heyl chem. pharm. Fabrik Berlin GmbH in Germany.
Radiogardase® traps radioactive cesium and thallium in the intestines and keeps them from being re-absorbed by the body. Once Cs-137 has entered the body, it goes through a long rotation of re-absorption within the circulatory system. The ingested Cs-137 is reabsorbed almost completely from the gastrointestinal tract, and, via the bloodstream, is transported to the liver where it enters the gall bladder and is finally returned to the intestine. From the intestine, around 90% is again reabsorbed into the bloodstream and the enterohepatic circulation starts anew. Radiogardase® interrupts this enterohepatic absorption of Cs-137 by knocking this cyclic path out of the gastrointestinal tract and sending it out through the feces.
Heyl chem. pharm. Fabrik GmbH is stepping up production of Radiogardase® to help relieve domestic and global demand.
During nuclear incidents, such as the ongoing emergency at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Facility, radioactive material can escape from fuel rods because of heating and consequent cracks in the metal rods. A break in the containment structure, because of explosions or damage from other causes, can permit the radioactive material such as Cs-137 to escape to the environment. The released radioactive material can be inhaled, swallowed with contaminated food or water, or enter the body through open wounds.
Drugs that help to remove this radioactive material from the body are called decorporation drugs. Perhaps best known to the general public is potassium iodide (chemically abbreviated KI). This drug helps keep radioactive iodine from being taken up by the thyroid gland and promotes its excretion. However, there are numerous other decorporation drugs that have been used for many years for accidents involving radiation workers, and rarely, members of the public. Radiogardase® (Prussian Blue insoluble capsules) helps promote the excretion of radioactive cesium, and sodium and calcium diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) promotes the excretion of radioactive plutonium.
According to Carol Marcus Ph.D., M.D. Professor of Radiation Oncology and of Radiological Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA "The strategic key to emergency preparedness is to stockpile decorporation drugs in advance. Many decorporation drugs have little or no other medical uses, and are not generally kept in pharmacies and hospitals." Dr. Marcus added, "The companies that manufacture these limited use drugs are consequently small, and have little or no surge capacity to ramp up manufacturing if large quantities are needed. By stockpiling drugs ahead of time, as is done in the United States, we will have a ready supply if they are needed."
"The need for these products to be forward deployed around the world is clear," said Alexander Heyl, CEO of Heyltex Corporation. "Radiogardase is an important part of protecting Americans living near nuclear facilities and a key antidote in protecting against a 'Dirty Bomb' attack involving Cs-137." In addition Mr. Heyl stated that, "The unfortunate incident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Facility has put the dangers of radiation exposure on the front page and brought into focus the need for continued planning worldwide."