26 November 1998
Cystitis drug could prevent CJD

GOVERNMENT health officials are ready for trials of a drug used to treat cystitis – which might also prevent people getting new-variant Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (nvCJD), the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Scientists working on scrapie, a sheep brain disorder similar BSE, showed in the 1980s that the drug pentosan polysulphate can delay or avert the onset of the disease.

They now believe trials should be carried out to see whether the drug might be used to help people at high risk of developing nvCJD.

Chris Bostock, the director of the Institute of Animal Health, has applied for funds from the Government to research the drug.

  • The Independent 26/11/98 page 4