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Claims for Patent: 6,063,772

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Claims for Patent: 6,063,772

Title: Specific modulation of Th1/Th2 cytokine expression by ribavirin in activated T-lymphocytes
Abstract:Ribavirin is administered to a patient in a dosage range which is effective to modulate lymphokine expression In activated T cells. In particular, ribavirin is used to suppress Th2-mediated T cell responses and promote Th1-mediated T cell response. Thus, instead of administering ribavirin in its well-recognized role as an anti-viral agent, ribavirin is herein used in the treatment of imbalances in lymphokine expression. Such imbalances may be found to be concomitants of allergic atopic disorders such as allergic asthma and atopic dermatitis, helminth Infection and leishmaniasis, and various primary and secondary immunodeficiencies, which may or may not also be associated with viral infection.
Inventor(s): Tam; Robert C. (Costa Mesa, CA)
Assignee: ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Costa Mesa, CA)
Application Number:09/097,450
Patent Claims: 1. A method of treating a disease responsive to ribavirin, comprising:

recognizing progression of the disease as being mediated at least in part by Th1 lymphocytes;

recognizing ribavirin as being effective to promote a Th1 response and suppress a Th2 response when administered in a dosage range below which both Th1 and Th2 responses are suppressed; and

administering ribavirin to a patient having the disease within the dosage range.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the disease comprises Hepatitis C.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the dosage range is approximately 4.5 mg/kg of the patient's body weight per day.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein the dosage range achieves a blood serum level in the patient averaging approximately 0.25-6.7 .mu.g/ml of ribavirin.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the disease comprises Hepatitis C and the dosage range achieves a blood serum level in the patient averaging approximately 0.25-6.7 .mu.g/ml of ribavirin.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein the disease is selected from the group consisting of allergic asthma, atopic dermatitis, helminth infection and leishmaniasis.

7. The method of claim 1 wherein the disease is a primary or secondary

immunodeficiency disease.

8. The method of claim 1 wherein promotion of the Th1 response is characterized by increasing production of interleukin 2 (IL-2), tumor necrosis factor (TNF.alpha.) and interferon gamma (IFN-.gamma.).

9. The method of any of claims 1-7 further comprising administering interferon alpha to the patient.
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