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HIV drug
exceeding expectations in clinical trials

HIV drug
exceeding expectations in clinical trials

The Melbourne, Australia-based biotech company Avexa is getting closer to developing its antiviral HIV drug apricitabine (ATC), reports the Web site of The Australian national newspaper. ATC is for the treatment of patients who have drug-resistant HIV.

Avexa announced this week the results of its latest phase trial for ATC, and CEO Julian Chick said the drug exceeded expectations. All 47 patients in the 21-day trial showed significant improvement after taking ATC.

All of the patients who received ATC recorded more than an 85% reduction in the level of HIV in the blood, and one patient had a decrease of 99.7%. The patients in the control group had only a minimal reduction in HIV levels.

"The benefit to HIV patients is that it gives them another opportunity to reduce the virus levels in the blood, therefore prolonging their lives," said Chick.

No side effects were reported, and researchers found no evidence of an ATC-resistant virus developing during the trial phase.

Avexa plans to market ATC by 2010 in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Alexa hopes to sell about $70 million of new shares to fund the drug's development. (The Advocate)

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