Maker of Remune HIV vaccine cuts staff, CEO resigns
Immune Response Corp., developer of the experimental HIV vaccine Remune, will eliminate more than half the jobs at its Carlsbad, Calif., headquarters, Bloomberg News reports. It also was announced that company CEO Dennis Carlo has resigned. Earlier this year, auditors questioned the ability of the company to remain in business following the resignation of its chief financial officer and million-dollar quarterly losses. The company has been in financial difficulty since a November 2000 study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco,stated that the Remune vaccine was ineffective in preventing HIV infection. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which had been funding the Remune studies, ended its partnership with Immune Response in August 2001, citing the ineffectiveness of the vaccine. Immune Response has moved ahead on its own with small studies of the vaccine as a way to slow HIV replication in patients already infected with the virus and as a possible addition to standard antiretroviral drug therapy.